Geron announced yesterday that they are closing their spinal-injury trial to new enrolments, and laying off most of their staff in that area now, with the rest going by mid-2012. Too bad for the existing patients with a spine full of potentially tumorigenic ESC-derivatives... Geron hopes some other company will take over their "stem cell assets".
The media release of 14th November states:
The decision to narrow Geron’s technology and therapeutic focus was made after a strategic review of the costs, value inflection timelines and clinical, manufacturing and regulatory complexities associated with the Company’s research and clinical-stage assets.
That means their ESC-derivative experiments are not promising enough to even complete the earliest-stage trial, despite all the ludicrous hype they and their media puppies propagated last year.
No doubt some government-funded body will take up these sort of futile experiments using dumb public money (futile and dumb becaause anything an ESC-derivative can do an ethically uncontentiuos iPSC-derivative can do better - because it matches the patient; even better, in spinal injury an ASC therapy would both match the patient and avoid the danger of tumours).
But in the real world, smart private money will continue to see through the hype and hoax of embryo stem cell "therapies".
RIP Geron's ESC fizzer.