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FDA trial for S'pore biomedical company

The firm will start its first FDA-approved trial, in Colorado in the US, on 30 to 100 patients early next year, using stem cells extracted from umbilical cord lining - normally discarded when a woman gives birth - that can grow into the patient's new skin. The trial is expected to last two to three years.

The firm received the FDA stamp of approval after showing it could produce Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) mesenchymal stem cells - which can transform into a variety of cell types - at a University of Colorado laboratory. They have named the drug CorLiCyte.

Associate Professor Lim Kah Leong of the National Neuroscience Institute and National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine - who is studying the use of cord lining stem cells to repair damaged brain cells in Parkinson's patients - said having cGMP-grade stem cells will aid research.