Remember good old Celltex?
That’s the Texas stem cell clinic with the famous patient, former Texas Governor and two-time GOP Presidential hopeful, Rick Perry. It ran afoul of the FDA and headed for the border, setting up shop in Cancun, Mexico.
They have since mostly flown under the radar with the exception of their concerning partnership with the US Arthritis Foundation and their PR about a pediatric patient.
More recently they are bubbling up again with more focus on their patients. For instance, they are in the news about pediatric and young adult patients, which in my opinion is of concern from a bioethical perspective. Stay tuned for another post on the issues that arise with Celltex and young patients in the near future.
Now Celltex reportedly also has a new celebrity patient in former NFL superstar, Tony Dorsett, according to USA Today. For San Diego stem cell biz Stemedica, the celebrity sports star turned patient route has proven useful with the Gordie Howe case generating a lot of PR. Can the same be true for Celltex?
If aging sports stars serve as encouragement to other people to take risks by getting unproven treatments, I find that of great concern. It’s unclear if Dorsett had to pay Celltex or got a freebie, which has been an issue with past celebrity stem cell “treatments”. If famous people get free or discounted treatment or other perks that regular folks do not, then that seems questionable.
We can expect to see more and more sports celebrities receiving non-FDA approved stem cell treatments in the coming months and years. A passive FDA is part of the stem cell clinic problem overall.