Are you in Need of Help because of a crisis pregnancy? Call 1.800.665.0570
Embryonic Stem Cells
Human embryonic stem cells:
Scientists have been able to do experiments with human embryonic stem cells (hESC) since 1998, when a group led by Dr. James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin developed a technique to isolate and grow the cells. Although hESCs are thought to offer potential cures and therapies for many devastating diseases, research using them is still in its basic stages. hESCs are thought to offer potential cures and therapies for many devastating diseases, and we are now seeing the first clinical trials using cells derived from hESCs.
The NIH funded its first basic research study on hESCs in 2002. Since that time, biotechnology companies have built upon those basic foundations to begin developing stem cell-based human therapies. There are currently two active clinical trials using cells derived from human embryonic stem cells, both being conducted by a biotechnology company called ACT. The company has laboratories in Marlborough, Massachusetts and corporate offices in Santa Monica, California. ACT has begun enrolling patients for Phase I (safety and tolerability) clinical trials of two hESC-derived stem cell products:
- The first ACT trial is testing the safety of hESC-derived retinal cells to treat patients with an eye disease called Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (SMD).
- The second ACT trial is testing the safety of hESC-derived retinal cells to treat patients with age-related macular degeneration.
In January, 2012, the investigators published a preliminary report on the first two patients treated with hESC-derived cells:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22281388. A third patient was treated on April 20, 2012.
- A third clinical trial using hESC-derived cells was halted on November 14, 2011. The trial was being conducted by a biotechnology company called Geron, located in Menlo Park, California. Four patients with recent spinal cord injuries had been enrolled for its clinical trial of a hESC-derived therapy. The trial was testing the safety of using hESC-derived cells to achieve restoration of spinal cord function. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells derived from hESCs were being injected directly into the lesion site of the patient's injured spinal cord. On November 14, Geron announced that it was discontinuing its stem cell programs to concentrate on cancer programs.
(from:http://stemcells.nih.gov/info//pages/health.aspx - last accessed April 18, 2014)