July 10, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Stem cell clinic supplier Liveyon tries to regenerate itself after FDA recall

You probably remember Liveyon. It’s a marketer of an “umbilical cord stem cell” product that was recently recalled by the FDA. The recall was due to adverse events that may have included E. coli contamination somewhere before it was injected into patients, some of whom apparently got sick.

Since it seemed like this recalled product was a major part of Liveyon’s business model, some wondered: could the company survive the recall? My sense at the time was that it would just find another source for some kind of “stem cell” materials to sell. One of its apparent leaders Lynne Pirie eventually said as much in the comments section of my post on the FDA recall.

Liveyon reincarnated
Screenshot from new Liveyon website

It’s not entirely clear yet either who this new supplier is or what the product might be. Liveyon has a revamped website though focused on their new incarnation (see screenshot). It also says you can pay $5,000 to attend their “mastermind summit” meeting to learn more.

$5,000? What do you get?

The first topic item mentioned in regard to this mastermind thing is “building a seven to eight figure stem cell practice.”

Uh, what about helping patients in need? I don’t see that. It seems heavily focused on profit to me.

On another page I see patients mentioned, but just how to get more of them “in the door.” Also on that other page is “How to become the celebrity doctor in your city.”

All for the good of patients again, right?

The homepage highlights in bold font and all caps, “Featuring special guest trainer” Dave Vanhoose.” Who? I Googled Dave and it seems he’s a speaking coach amongst other things. In addition to Vanhoose, you can apparently also meet the “team of scientists” at Liveyon. I wonder who they are? What are their credentials?

The website has a new slogan too, “the pure feeling of healing”. That word “pure” may be key here given the potential contamination of the older product at some point. The slogan “the pure feeling of healing” doesn’t invoke a rigorous science-based medical firm to me.

How about you?

When I was a kid in the 70s sometimes I’d see a particularly over-the-top televangelist on TV while flipping through the channels. I could see them saying something like, “the pure feeling of healing,” but even as a kid I can’t imagine I would have wanted myself or a loved one to get a medical treatment having anything to do with such a slogan.

In the end, overall many questions remain about these kinds of birth tissue-related stem cell clinic firms and their suppliers. In related news that raises more concerns in this area, the FTC just took action on some “amniotic stem cell” clinics and their owner too.

More broadly, my advice to patients would be to steer clear of this kind of clinic and product. In my opinion it’s a big waste of money and there clearly are risks.

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