UPDATE 1-Celgene stem cell therapy gets FDA nod for human trials

Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:22pm EST

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Nov 10 (Reuters) - Biotechnology giant Celgene Corp (CELG.O) said it received approval from U.S. health regulators to start human testing of its experimental stem-cell therapy for the treatment of Crohn's disease.

The company said clinical development of PDA001, its therapy utilizing human placenta-derived stem cells, would start by the end of the year.

Crohn's disease is a chronic and often debilitating inflammatory disease of the colon and large intestine that affects some 500,000 people in the United States and leads to frequent hospitalizations and surgery.

On Nov. 4, Genzyme Corp GENZ.O said it would co-develop two adult stem-cell products of Osiris Therapeutics (OSIR.O) including Prochymal, which is being tested in late-stage trials for the treatment of Crohn's disease, among other indications.

Shares of Celgene were up 2 percent at $61.50 Monday afternoon on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)

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