A new, somewhat mysterious short film that serves as an advertisement for unproven exosomes has some of us scratching our heads.
Can you guys as readers of The Niche help solve the puzzle of who’s behind this wild “cinematic commercial” and what the deal is with the unproven exosome product it seemingly promotes as some kind of sci-fi miracle med?
I hope so!
For more on exosomes and legit research into them see this past guest post.
Note that allogeneic exosomes used clinically appear to be drug products according to recent statements from the FDA and so likely require pre-market approval from the agency to be legally used in patients. Also, there are risks to unproven exosome products. Such a product from a currently unknown supplier sickened 4 people in Nebraska recently, which is under investigation by authorities. You can read more on the FDA view and the Nebraska events here.
Getting back to the wacky new exosome commercial film, Christopher Centeno of the Regenexx stem cell clinic firm brought it to light. He has a new blog post on it where he speculates that this strange new sci-fi-esque commercial called Awakening may be tied to the perinatal “stem cell” clinic supplier firm Liveyon. (Note that my linking to his post is not an endorsement of any kind for the Regenexx brand. In fact, I’m not convinced that such bone marrow-based products or PRP are clearly effective, but he has some useful info and thoughts on the exosome commercial.)
You can see a promotional image for the film I’ve included in this post, which admittedly kind of reminds me of some of the images that have been on the Liveyon website at times.
Recall that Liveyon has had major troubles of late with a dozen or more patients injected with their product ending up hospitalized, a serious FDA warning letter, and a voluntary suspension of some product sales a few weeks back. They also were the subject of the podcast Bad Batch, which in my opinion exposed the firm to some deservedly harsh light.
Could Liveyon be shifting gears to focus on exosomes for a while instead of their umbilical product while they try to sort things out with the FDA on the latter? At this point I kind of doubt such a shift, but I do wonder about some kind of link.
Although Centeno suggests that Liveyon may be somehow linked to Awakening, when I emailed Liveyon leader John Kosolcharoen, he denied any involvement and emphasized their continued focus on their existing products.
Even in that case, could there still be some more indirect ties between Liveyon and whoever is behind the exosome commercial? I inputted the location coordinates the doctor receives on his “invitation” card in the film into Google Maps (78°16′ 5.2032″ E 30° 5′ 13.7760″ N) but if I did it right, it just puts a pin in some place in India that doesn’t ring a bell.
What do we know about this film? The main thing is that the commercial is brought to us by a California-registered firm called “Elysian Biologics.”
However, there is little on Elysian out there. Update: A commenter Aaron pointed out some Liveyon links to the film including that an employee of Liveyon, regional manager Andrew Christensen, is the one who registered Elysian as a company here in California.
From Centeno’s post:
“The director of “Awakening” is James “John” Buzzacco and the producer is “Elysian Biologics”. Where do we know John Buzzacco from? He also produced most of Liveyon’s films and commercials, see the screenshot above. In fact, my contact believes that Mr. Buzzacco’s company may have an exclusive contract with Kosolcharoen?
From the Exo Short Film website: “As unique as the diversification of cellular scientific innovations offered up by the renowned California based research and development company Elysian Biologics…” Who is Elysian? Elysian biologics is a California foreign corp created in July, 2019. The company’s address is 19200 Von Karman Ave Suite #400, Irvine, CA. So how can a company in business for 6 months be “renowned”? That address by the way links back to a virtual office suite, the kind where you can rent a room or where you can forward your mail. There are no Elysian labs that I can find and there is no formal corporate structure beyond this virtual office. Again, my contact stated that Kosolcharoen has used this virtual office address in the past.”
I was hoping maybe you readers of The Niche can help figure out this puzzle. Who is behind this film-commercial and Elysian? Any physicians or scientists? Just marketers? Is it tied to Liveyon as Centeno’s post suggests or not at all?
If the ad-film is indeed promoting an unproven exosome drug product, bringing this all to light would be a positive step for the larger regenerative medicine community including patients. Also, just as legit stem cell research is threatened by unproven stem cell clinics, unproven exosomes could harm the rigorous exosome research field.