Just how many babies must die to cure Michael J. Fox? Embryonic stem cell trial gets FDA nod Posted on Jan 23, 2009 | by Staff NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Proponents of embryonic stem cell research won a major victory Jan. 23 when a biotechnology company announced it has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for clinical trials using embryonic stem cells in human beings. Thomas Okarma, president of the California-based Geron Corp., said his company plans to enroll up to 10 paralyzed patients who can be treated within 14 days of sustaining a spinal cord injury. Geron will inject embryonic stem cells into the spine at the site of the damage. According to the company, if the cells behave like they have in some animal studies, the cells will mature and repair a lack of insulation around the nerves, restoring the ability of some nerve cells to carry signals. Geron said it will monitor the patients for at least a year to determine primarily whether the procedure is safe and also whether it is effective. Embryonic stem cell research has been a controversial issue because the extraction of cells from an embryo destroys the life of a tiny human.