Friday, May 20, 2011

Orphan disease still stands alone: StemCells' exit from its Batten Disease trial

Once upon a time, StemCells Inc. held out hope that its neural stem cells could treat a fatal children’s ailment called Batten disease. But as StemCells abruptly halted preparations last month for its second trial, the Palo Alto company and parents of kids affected with the extremely rare brain-wasting malady discovered that efforts to develop treatments for so-called orphan diseases rarely have a fairy tale ending.

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