UK firm to launch stem cell trial

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London - A British biotechnology company, working with a team of doctors in Scotland, is to launch a pioneering clinical trial to assess whether stem cell therapy can help patients left disabled by stroke.

The hope is that the new cells, which are derived from a cell line originally taken from aborted foetal tissue, will regenerate parts of the brain damaged by stroke.

The potential of different kinds of stem cells - master cells that can develop into specialised tissue in the body - is being examined by experts around the world for many diseases.

'Repair brain tissue'

ReNeuron's procedure involves the direct injection of millions of cells into the affected brain region. The initial tests will look primarily at the safety and feasibility of the treatment, with larger studies planned later if the first phase is successful.

"Stem cell treatment offers the potential to repair brain tissue lost as a result of stroke," principal investigator Keith Muir, a senior lecturer in neurology at the University of Glasgow, said in a statement.

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