For patients paralyzed by spinal cord injuries, Geron Corp.’s stem cell research was the shining hope.
The biotech firm showered scientists with millions of dollars to develop a treatment to reverse spinal damage. The therapy was the first treatment derived from embryonic stem cells to be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for testing in humans.
But last week, Geron abruptly pulled the plug on its pioneering trial and the rest of its stem cell business, including early work on treatments for heart ailments, diabetes and other diseases. Pursuing futuristic cures through regenerative medicine was financially riskier than focusing on the company’s two cancer drugs, which were further along in development, company executives said.
People who had pinned their hopes on stem cells reacted with dismay. Continue Reading »