September 25, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Lawsuit against stem cell clinic StemGenex expands to 5 patients

The stem cell clinic StemGenex was sued almost a year ago related to allegations about their marketing claims. This proposed class action suit, Moorer v. StemGenex, now includes five named patients involved as one can see from the new fourth amended complaint court document.Stemgenex

The five total named patients involved in the suit include four new ones Alexandra Gardner of Colorado, Stephen Ginsberg of California, Jennifer Brewer of Montana, and Rebecca King of Arkansas, and then the original plaintiff Selena Moorer, who is a resident of Florida. Reportedly each StemGenex customer paid $14,900 for their stem cell transplant.

Notably, four of the patients mentioned in the document traveled from other states to the San Diego area to receive stem cells from StemGenex. This seems to be a more general thing with the business and its customers as the amended complaint document quoted the StemGenex website that, “over 70% of patients travel to StemGenex Medical Group from out of state.”

Besides the business itself, the Defendants listed include the following: “ANDRE P. LALLANDE, D.O., SCOTT SESSIONS, M.D., RITA ALEXANDER, and DOES 1-100.” The LA Times recently reported that Sessions was the subject of California State Medical Board action. I think that he is no longer associated with StemGenex. For other archived posts on StemGenex see here. The new court document indicates that the health conditions of the plaintiffs for which they thought stem cells might help include lupus, diabetes, painful spine and joint condition, and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

More broadly businesses marketing non-FDA approved stem cells to patients claim that stem cells can help a whole array of health problems. In my opinion it is highly unlikely that one or even two types of stem cells could be a safe and effective way to treat so many conditions. The data just isn’t there from properly controlled studies.

The suit against StemGenex makes specific allegations about the clinic’s marketing and practices. The first 3 parts of the action described in the new document provide some sense of the specific major allegations:

“1. This is a class action against STEMGENEX MEDICAL GROUP, INC., and related persons and entities (collectively, “Defendants” or “StemGenex”). This action arises out of StemGenex’s scheme to wrongfully market and sell “stem cell treatments” at their La Jolla, California location to consumers nationwide.

2. StemGenex’s consumers are often sick or disabled, suffering from incurable diseases and a dearth of hope. StemGenex’s marketing makes claims to these consumers that by performing liposuction of a person’s adult fat cells, processing them, and injecting them back into a person as stem cells (the “Stem Cell Treatments”), they effectively treat a multitude of diseases.

3. StemGenex claims that 100% of its prior consumers are satisfied with its service. StemGenex has no reasonable basis to make the claim it has made about 100% consumer satisfaction. StemGenex omits material information from all marketing about the Stem Cell Treatments and the dissatisfaction and complaints of ineffectiveness from people who have purchased the treatments.”

The case remains open and to my knowledge its class status is not yet approved. The specific allegations also have not been addressed in court as to their veracity. The case could be dismissed, it could proceed as a class suit or move forward but not as a class suit, or it could be settled.

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