Pig cells will be transplanted into the brains of New Zealanders with Parkinson's disease as part of an experimental treatment of the neurological disorder.
Kiwi scientists will undertake the clinical trial after Living Cell Technologies, which has its research and development based in this country, got the go-ahead to test the treatment in humans next year.
Government approval was given this week for the trial.
"Receiving regulatory approval to conduct clinical trials is a critical step in developing a treatment for this debilitating condition," said the company's chief executive Andrea Grant said in a statement.
She says pre-clinical trials suggest the treatment, known as NTCELL, can protect brain tissue which would otherwise die, potentially delaying or preventing the effects of Parkinson's.
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