StemGenex clinic bankruptcy reveals surprises including huge revenue

Stemgenex

StemgenexHow much money and how many patients do stem cell clinics like San Diego’s StemGenex make each year? A new court document has some insights from an unexpected angle.

I’ve been following StemGenex for years here on The Niche. It’s been a rollercoaster ride. Things hit a new low today, perhaps marking the operational end of the company, but we’ll see.

StemGenex has marketed non-FDA approved fat stem cells for a variety of health conditions. Their marketing is central to a patient class action lawsuit against them. Only a couple months ago it seemed the company was trying to possibly reinvent itself under a new name, Advanced Cell Medicine. They also received an FDA warning letter late last year.

Now StemGenex has filed for bankruptcy.

A hat tip to Leigh Turner for publicly posting the filing, which is a very unusual document with a number of surprises. It’s not clear what this filing means for the patients in the class-action suit against the firm, but it can’t be good.

Here are some of the nuggets from the bankruptcy filing.

  • The firm’s gross revenue for the two years prior to 2019 was on average approached $4 million/year. That’s a lot money. In 2019 they’ve brought in relatively little suggesting some big changes. If you figure a cost per patient of about $15K, then they may have had hundreds of customers per year in the two years of 2017 and 2018, although this is just a “back of the napkin” kind of rough calculation.
  • Attorney Richard Jaffe, who has represented stem cell clinics, is amongst the creditors listed by StemGenex, being owed more than $7K. Probably he did legal work for them and wasn’t paid. Other lawyers/law firms are listed and they owe one law firm about $95K.
  • An IRB called Advarra is another creditor.
  • They owe money to a number of former employees.
  • StemGenex appears to only have $300 in cash in the bank. It does have other assets too though, some potentially worth thousands of dollars. Total assets including equipment may be worth as much as $155K.
  • It seems they owe a landlord more than $300K.
  • They owe $12K on another lawsuit settlement.

There’s a lot more in this filing too.

In my view it’s likely we’ll see other clinic firms and maybe suppliers too declare bankruptcy in the coming year or two. The financial pressure is especially high on fat stem cell clinics since they are generally now by definition selling unapproved drug products, which isn’t legal. However, the FDA is also making it clearer (e.g. see my post on this new warning letter) that many perinatal “stem cell” products are drugs as well, requiring premarket approval.

5 Comments

  1. The average physician working at a hospital will generate, in revenue, on average 2.5 Million USD per year. So its ok if a doc is generating millions for Kaiser Permanente, but not ok if the doc has some share of a facility? That’s just one doctor, utilizing conventional medicines. These medicine, many of which that have lots of complications for most individuals that take them, including death. Won’t even mention morbidity…..let’s just focus on death.

    Want the real deal about conventional medicines ? Check out “Patients Like Me”? https://www.patientslikeme.com

    Safety- Prescribed, (FDA) approved medicines have been consistently killing >100K people year for many years, to the point where prescribed medications are now the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. But this is ok?

    Let’s not even mention the narcotic medicine debacle.

    Most regen med providers are thoughtful, intuitive practitioners, who are quite innovative in finding solutions to get their patients better, when other solutions “approved or advocated by thought leaders without evidence” do not work, or are not desired by the patient or are inappropriate. Of course there are bad apples in every area, but just because there are bad apples, does not mean the whole basket is bad.

    The reality is that we have pretty good evidence that regenerative medicine procedures, especially autologous ones are safe, and are not associated with the levels of morbidity and mortality that we see with approved conventional medications, at least is the musculoskeletal arena. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27026621

    Your own research has shown that despite all of the “hype” about stem cells continues to grow, the number of clinics offering these treatments are about the same, maybe even less.

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