Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Geron ends its stem cell (hESC) work

From an article in The Scientist on Geron's decision to terminate its human embryonic stem cell program:

So far, four patients have been treated with the one-time injection of a low dose of cells as part of this initial safety trial. All four patients , who will continue to be monitored by Geron, have tolerated the treatments well and not shown any signs of adverse effects, according to the company, but so far, no patients have shown any neurologic changes that are consistent with efficacy. Patients who had already received approval to join the trial will still receive treatment, Stephen Kelsey, executive vice president and head of research & development, added at a press conference held today (November 15). Kelsey couldn’t say how many patients were in this position, but the company had originally aimed to enroll a total of eight patients in the trial.

Deciding to move out of the stem cell business was a very difficult decision to make,” Geron CEO John Scarlett said at the press conference. “We’re making these changes because in the current environment of scarcity and uncertain economic conditions, we need to focus our resources on…our cancer programs,” which are expected to generate results as soon as next year. Stem cell trial results, Scarlett added, weren’t expected until 2014. “[It] was a business decision,” he said.

Californiastemcellreport aggregated a lot of posts on the topic in its piece
Possible Buyers for Geron's Stem Cell Business: BioTime, Pfizer, Celgene


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