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Salt Lake City-based Q Therapeutics, which develops adult stem cell therapies for diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig's disease, was granted a drug designaton for its Q-Cells product that gives the company additional funding, tax credits and exclusivity to sell the product.

The company announced Tuesday that Q-Cells was given a Company Orphan Drug Designation from the Federal Drug Administration, which allows Q Therapeutics to market the product exclusively for seven years. The drug is used to treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The designation also will help defray clinical trial costs and provides assistance with clinical protocols, according to a company statement.

"Designation of Q-Cells as an orphan drug for the treatment of ALS is a significant milestone for ALS patients, who have few treatment options, and for our company as we advance this potentially life-saving therapeutic," Dr. Deborah Eppstein, president and CEO of Q Therapeutics, said in the statement.

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