South Korean biotech wins OK for stem cell treatment

South Korea's FCB-Pharmicell has won an approval for a new adult stem cell treatment for repairing the damage done by heart failure, a world-first for a country that was badly shaken five years ago by a scandal regarding the faked embryonic stem cell efforts of scientist Hwang Woo-suk.

The regulatory win gives the biotech company the right to sell Hearticellgram-AMI, reports Reuters, which has been in clinical trials for the past six years. And the scientific community heralded the approval as a sign that the country's stem cell industry is back on track.

"This is the first stem-cell medication to be approved for clinical use not only in Korea, but the entire world," said Song Jae-mann, president of the Yonsei University Wonju Christian Hospital. "We hope this will serve as a catalyst in the advancement of global stem cell research and its application."

- here's the story from Reuters