SpectraScience (San Diego) reported filing for a new patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, titled "System and Method for Non-Endoscopic Optical Biopsy Detection of Diseased Tissue." The device is a disposable catheter designed to be used in body cavities to detect normal or cancerous tissue, used in conjunction with the company's WavSTAT optical biopsy system. The company said its WavStat system is used by physicians to diagnose tissue and determine if it is normal, pre-cancerous, or cancerous within one second. The WavStat is currently approved by the FDA for use in detecting cancer in the colon. A new application for detecting pre-cancers in the throat, sometimes called Barrett's esophagus, is being tested in a clinical trial.

StemCells (Palo Alto, California) reported that the first transplantation of the company's human neural stem cell product, HuCNS-SC, took place Nov. 14 at the Oregon Health & Science University's (OHSU) Doernbecher Children's Hospital (Portland). The transplant is the first of six that are planned as part of the company's Phase I clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety and preliminary efficacy of HuCNS-SC as a treatment for infantile and late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL). NCL, which is often referred to as Batten disease, is a rare and fatal neurodegenerative condition afflicting infants and children. Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is a rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorder brought on by inherited genetic mutations. StemCells' human neural stem cells (HuCNS-SC) are a cell-based therapeutic prepared under controlled conditions.