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StemCells Inc. hopes a clinical trial of its proprietary stem cells in rodents will lead to a clinical trial with Alzheimer's patients.

Last week, a California biotech company announced that its human stem cells restored memory in rodents bred to have an Alzheimer's-like condition—the first evidence that human neural stem cells can improve memory.

The company, called StemCells, is betting that its proprietary preparation of stem cells from fetal brain tissue will take on many different roles in the central nervous system. The company and its collaborators have already shown that its stem-cell product has potential in protecting vision in diseased eyes, acting as brain support cells, or improving walking ability in rodents with spinal cord injury.

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