UPDATE 1-Geron gets human trial nod for spinal cord therapy

* Says FDA lifts clinical hold on human trial application

* Shares up 17 pct in pre-market

July 30 (Reuters) - Geron Corp GERN.O said the U.S. health regulator allowed it to proceed with an early stage trial on its experimental stem cell therapy for acute spinal cord injury, sending its shares up 17 percent in pre-market trade.

In August last year, Geron’s GRNOPC1 had run into safety problems during the animal study stage, prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to place a clinical hold on its investigational new drug application for the therapy. [ID:nBNG242339]

On Friday, the company said the clinical hold on its application has been lifted.

Shares of the stem cell research company rose 17 percent to $5.60 in pre-market trade. They closed at $4.80 Thursday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)