Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) have won a multi-million dollar grant from the federal government to investigate treatments used for chronic pain. The news comes as one stem cell research company has announced plans to close down its research division.

URMC said funding from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could add up to $4.5 million over the next five years for the chronic pain research, which may lead to data helpful in the development of new pharmaceutical products, according to the Rochester Business Journal.

Past clinical trials of chronic pain treatments have been less than conclusive.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey-based Geron Corporation said its was discontinuing any further clinical research work on stem cells in order to cut operating costs, according to the Washington Post.

The company, which had been a pioneer in stem cell research for spinal cord injury treatment, said it was eliminating 66 full-time jobs or 38 percent of its staff. The move is expected to save Geron approximately $8 million in costs through the first half of next year.

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