Bad Batch podcast is must listen for stem cell community

Bad Batch Podcast
Bad Batch Podcast, click here to listen.

I’m relatively new to podcasts, but am enjoying a new stem cell-focused one called Bad Batch by medical journalist Laura Beil, which I’ve been listening to in the car as I commute. I just finished episode three. I’m curious to hear how the next few episodes of the story unfold.

I talked and emailed with Beil as she worked on this project. Her rigorous approach impressed me and she clearly did her homework on it.

Bad Batch comes from podcast network Wondery. It is focused on a company called Liveyon that will be familiar to readers of The Niche.

In the way of brief background, Liveyon is a controversial firm selling purported birth-related stem cell products including previously from a supplier called Genetech (no, not Genentech). It’s unclear whether their products consistently have real, living stem cells in them in any significant numbers.

I have some serious concerns about the leadership of Liveyon (just Google their names), and in my opinion the corporate focus has seemed more about making quick profits than helping patients with a rigorously proven medical product.

Liveyon and its leader, John Kosolcharoen have run into a slew of problems just in the past year. Most seriously, more than a dozen patients ended up terribly ill and hospitalized after receiving injections of a Liveyon product that somehow was contaminated with a variety of bacteria including E. coli prior to injection. It was remarkably fortunate that no one died.

Liveyon has tried to regenerate itself after this disaster. I’m not really sure where it stands today. Four months ago I wrote about a serious FDA inspection report of the company. 

Who knows if the FDA will do anything further?  The story here goes well beyond one bad batch of a stem cell product to a troubling stem cell supply industry. There are other birth-related stem cell suppliers out there that raise concerns as well.

Bad Batch digs into the intriguing and alarming backstory behind this mess.  We get to know the cast of characters involved including Kosolcharoen, an upset anonymous investor from his past, his mother, Alan Gaveck (another leader at Liveyon), and more.

Importantly, we also get to know the patients who were harmed and their families.

I recommend giving it a listen. Beil has a wonderful way of weaving a story and a perfect podcast voice.

10 thoughts on “Bad Batch podcast is must listen for stem cell community”

  1. Just talk to the chiropractor that worked in that office and yes it was Liveyon. And I got them injected in May 2018

  2. Education is always at the core of most of these problems. Providers want to provide good care for their patients. Yet their is no single easy to access source of accurate peer reviewed information. We have a great deal of experience in distance learning from our CME work at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Our recent course examining the HCT/P industry that includes information on the basic science, peer reviewed support for all the clinical applications, and FDA regulatory compliance presents a standardized knowledge base for any provider with a cell phone. This course will fulfill the FDA training requirement for “off label” use. Everyone who is involved in the HCT/P needs to be certified through our program in order to best represent these products.

    1. In May 2018 after having a pain shooting down my arm and a numb hand on my left side I went to the chiropractors and they suggested stem cells I heard good things from other people and decided to do it after they injected it into my lower spine mid spine upper spine and in my bloodstream the second day I was hurting pretty good the third day I had to call the ambulance I spent three weeks in the hospital to get sent home with a bunch of pain pills they informed me I would be this way the rest of my life I have been going to the chiropractor every since I am in constant pain in my lower back it solved the problem with my hand but I have never hurt so bad in my life I cannot get out of bed to use the bathroom or anything else without pain In my mid-lower back feels like a knife was stuck in it. And now I am hearing about a Bad Batch of stem cells I do not know if it pertains to me or not but it sounds exactly what I am going through

      1. Mike, I’m so sorry this happened to you.
        Ask the chiro to give you the information on what stem cells they used and from what supplier. If you are comfortable with openly discussing it, please let us know what you find out from the chiro.

        The “Bad Batch” podcast is focused on one particular supplier whose product had contamination with bacteria, but there are other suppliers out there too.

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