Geron, Stem Cells, Spinal Injuries

The Mercury News reports that Geron is looking to move embryonic stem cell therapies for paralysis from rats to humans, and is aiming at trials in 2006. "For its test, Geron proposes to turn human embryonic stem cells into the precursors for specialized nerve cells, called oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. Surgeons then would inject the cells into the spinal injury with the help of a special stabilizing frame the company has developed. If everything goes as planned, the progenitor cells would help form new axons and also turn into oligodendrocytes, which help form an insulating sheath for the axons, called myelin. The test probably would involve a few dozen patients, all of whom would have irreversible spinal injuries."



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