Wondering why Celltex is still so silent

Celltex

Why is the Texas stem cell company Celltex so super duper private about itself?

I’m not sure.

It has been the subject of much discussion in the stem cell field in the past year.

Unfortunately, much of the news has been negative, largely related to their former head of ethics, Glenn McGee, who also was the editor of the American Journal of Bioethics at the same time. Slate also published and then reportedly under legal pressure from Celltex withdrew an article on Celltex.

Celltex has sparked my curiosity.

What do we really know about Celltex?

Almost nothing.

From what I gather from bits and pieces of Internet items, Celltex is in the business of producing (and banking?) adult stem cells from adipose tissue for the purpose of sale to and use by other, separate clinics to inject into patients as therapies.

Am I right? I am not sure, but this is my best guess.

Celltex, is that correct?

To me, Celltex, your stealthy profile makes me even more curious about you.

In an attempt to engage, I emailed the two Celltex founders several weeks ago offering to post their answers to some simple, very non-confrontational questions I included. My letter was intended as an opening for them to tell us all in the stem cell community a bit more about them.

I got no reply.

In the past, other groups and people such as ICMS and Dr. Chris Centeno, who might not agree with me on my views on stem cell regulatory issues, have nonetheless taken the opportunity to engage with me with what I think they would agree were great results. I have also privately started dialogues with some other folks with the hope that such engagement will be beneficial to the stem cell community and eventually be publicly discussed.

This again leaves me wondering “What is Celltex afraid of?”

Probably nothing.

But my blog readers and the stem cell community are wondering the same thing or perhaps worse.

I believe Celltex is doing itself no favor via its lack of image management. Why? Because when we do hear anything about Celltex, it is mostly negative in the press and Internet. For example, it is them drawing the concern of bioethicists such as at the University of Minnesota or by Doug Sipp. Those folks saying they were threatened with litigation by Celltex. And so forth.

In short, all bad press. A mess really.

Some of the little of what we know that seems positive comes from the blog of a patient, Debbie, who has blogged glowingly about her experience getting treatment from Celltex. But scientists and doctors are rightly skeptical of patient testimonials. They can mean a lot or nothing.

Making matters worse, Celltex still has no website. Of course as a private company, Celltex can make its own choices on PR and such.

However, at some point, Celltex, you are going to need to engage with the stem cell community in a substantive manner. It is inevitable.

Why not start now?

Autologous adult stem cell therapy and banking are fascinating, extremely important areas so the powers that be in the stem cell field are naturally curious about what you guys are doing.

My invitation is still open. I know you read this blog as does an important and growing part of the overall stem cell community.

I’ll extend the invitation further to publish verbatim any statement you might have. I think you have nothing to be afraid of and everything to gain by engaging the stem cell community in a dialogue, putting up a website, etc.

The time is ripe, but may soon become over-ripe……

12 Comments


  1. I guess you don’t adhere to the adage to let sleeping dogs lie…Did ya ever hear Don’t Mess with Texas.

    So CellTex, friend of both Governor Perry and Rep. Rick Hardcastle, and an MS patient himself, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4j2BxJ638E0.

    If you follow the smart money there is a fight about to start. CellTex is well funded, and well run and well connected. They have admitted to paying enormous amounts of money to Dr. Ra.
    David Eller is a master statesman and businessman and connected to the FDA.
    If in fact CellTex has crossed the minimal manipulation rule as perceived by the FDA, then I foresee IRB or not, the FDA is going to challenge CellTex, as they did with Regenexx.
    I think the real story is, will the TMB and the state attorney of Texas defend the suit or will CellTex have to fight the battle alone.
    Word is 100 patients have been treated already since the doors opened.
    Stay tuned!


    • I’m not messing with Texas. I’m trying to help!
      I’m trying to open what I think would be a positive dialogue that is actually beneficial to Celltex.
      I don’t think the current status quo is helpful to them.
      You don’t strike me as a “let sleeping dogs lie” person yourself by the way!
      But then you are an anonymous (or so you think!) commenter and I’m signing my name to my piece.
      I hope the people of Texas at least admire my guts. I also hope my future actions demonstrate my intentions in regard to stem cells in Texas are to make things better!


        • I do so enjoy this Blog Paul, why ruin the mystery of my identity? I’m not a Phd, or even an MD, just a person with an interest in this area of research. I will make a point of introducing myself the very next time our paths cross!


  2. Paul, I can think of many reasons CellTex should remain silent. Prime is the well-being of patients. In a time of uncertain regulations and a rapidly changing health care and medical landscape, it is for ethical and sound business concerns that, I believe, CellTex is cooperating with the FDA for an eventual clearing of the issues. I hope we can avoid a court battle and move stem cell research forward in a collaborative manner.


    • I don’t see any connection between keeping a stealthy profile and the well-being of patients. Can you explain?
      Your other points are interesting.


      • OK, It’s that these treatments are here and these are now patients in clinical trials facing serious risks, some fighting for their lives. Their outcomes could be affected by negativity in the media detrimental to well being in a patient care setting. Just sayin.
        Thanks for the question. I tried to answer earlier on my iphone, but I’m not sure what happened. Can’t type on the thing


        • Thank you for your comments, Mario. They are great.
          My two cents-instead of avoiding the media, a company (even a private one) providing medical treatments would benefit itself and its patients by having a professional public relations manager on staff, having a website, engaging the media, etc.
          Rather than being reactive, it’s time to be proactive.
          In addition, I believe patients are not put at risk by openness.


  3. I can certainly understand why CellTex is not engaging right now. Even your opening paragraphs have a negative tinge. You know as well as I do that I had to really badger you for quite some time to get you to host Ask the Doctor on the Stem Cell Pioneers. Give CellTex time and some space and let patients get treated in the new location before lambasting them for not doing an interview. Be patient is my best advice like I was with you. At this point, unless you have an ulterior motive, I wouldn’t worry about this one company not giving you an interview. There are a lot of other fish in the sea.


      • Got it Paul. I have many CellTex patients sending me information worrying that their treatments will be interrupted. This is indeed a year old, however, that hasn’t alleviated their fears. As always, any discussion of the issues is appreciated. Thank you.

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