Stem cell drug gets an FDA clearance
Advanced Cell Technology, a stem cell company with a research laboratory in Marlborough, has received federal approval to test a human embryonic stem cell treatment on patients with a rare disease that causes blindness.
ACT has withstood financial struggles over the past few years, and its stock price closed on Friday at under 5 cents a share. But the small clinical trial that it has gained approval for — to treat 12 patients with Stargardt’s macular dystrophy — will make it the second company in the United States to test a human embryonic stem cell treatment.
“It’s been a long road. . . . We’ve had our telephones turned off a few times,’’ said Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer for ACT. “We’ve hung in there.’’