Shares of Geron Corp. (GERN) jumped 17 percent to $5.60 in Friday trading, the most intraday since December 2, on news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is allowing the company to proceed with a Phase I clinical trial of embryonic stem cell therapy.
Menlo-Park, California-based Geron said the clinical hold on its application has been lifted and the company’s Phase I clinical trial of GRNOPC1 in patients with acute spinal cord injury may proceed.
“Our goals for the application of GRNOPC1 in subacute spinal cord injury are unchanged — to achieve restoration of spinal cord function by the injection of hESC-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells directly into the lesion site of the patient’s injured spinal cord,” said in a statement Geron CEO Dr. Thomas B. Okarma. “Additionally, we are now formally exploring the utility of GRNOPC1 in other degenerative CNS disorders including Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and Canavan disease.”
According to Geron, the study will be the world’s first clinical trial of a human embryonic stem cell-based therapy in man.
Shares of Geron were up 15% to $5.54 Friday morning. The stock has traded as high as $9.19 this year.