Worcester biotech Advanced Cell Technology Inc. has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to launch a Phase 1/2 clinical trial using retinal cells based on human embryonic stem cells.

The multi-center trial will involve patients with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy, one of the more common forms of juvenile macular degeneration. The FDA decision came just four months after the agency’s first approval of a trial involving human embryonic stem cells, a study by Geron Corp. and the University of California at Irvine using stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries.

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