Friday, April 8, 2011

StemCells shelves Batten disease program — not enough patients for trial

StemCells Inc. will discontinue an early-stage clinical trial in Batten disease because it couldn’t find enough eligible patients with the rare disease.
Batten disease, also known as neuronal ceroid lipfuscinosis or NCL, is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder in children.
Palo Alto-based StemCells in 2009 completed a Phase I safety trial in six patients with advances stages of Batten and in October 2010 started a Phase Ib trial at Oregon Health & Science University to evaluate the cells in six additional patients in earlier stages of the disease. But no eligible patients were identified or enrolled, the company said, despite “diligent efforts” by investigators.

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