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Stem Cell Research

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Halted, Staff Laid Off

The company doing the first government-approved test of embryonic stem cell therapy is discontinuing further stem cell work, a move with stark implications for a field offering hope of future medicines for conditions with inadequate or no current treatments.Geron Corp., a pioneer in stem cell research that has been testing a spinal cord injury treatment, said late Monday that it's halting development of its stem cell programs to conserve funds. It is seeking partners to take on the programs' assets and is laying off much of its staff.The news sent Geron shares down sharply in after-hours trading. They fell 38 cents, or 17.3 percent, to $1.82.The company is eliminating 66 full-time jobs, or 38 percent of its staff, a process that will bring about $8 million in costs — about $5 million in the current quarter and about $3 million in the first half of 2012. Geron said it expects to end this year with more than $150 million in cash and investments.In a statement, the company said the decisi...

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