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USA Today: Second human embryonic stem cell clinical trial to start

Photo of embryonic stem cell

Federal officials have cleared a second clinical trial of a human embryonic stem-cell treatment, a company announced Monday, for a progressive blindness syndrome affecting young people.

Twelve patients with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy, which causes vision loss in children after the age of ten, will be enrolled in the combined Phase I/II (safety and effectiveness) clinical trial, announced Advanced Cell Technology of Marlborough, Mass. The syndrome destroys retinal cells, and the new treatment will inject new ones derived from stem cells into the eyes of the patients.

“There is currently no treatment for Stargardt’s disease,” said ACT’s Robert Lanza, in a statement. “Using stem cells, we can generate a virtually unlimited supply of healthy (retinal) cells, which are the first cells to die off in (Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy) and other forms of macular degeneration.”

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Robert Lanza takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

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"Before I did the #icebucketchallenge, I challenged the leader of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), Dr. Bob Lanza, to do the Ice Bucket Challenge. He did it and leading up to it he provided a quite articulate message for context (see video). Bob is one very cool guy even without ice water."
Paul Knoepfler

Entire Company takes the Ice Bucket Challenge. Click Here to See Video.