It’s not every day that I call a bunch of stem cell clinics to say “hi”, but yesterday I called some of them during a needed lunch break from grant writing to see what they were doing about their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The impetus for this survey of a sort was a question someone asked me last week, “Are stem cell clinics still open during the pandemic? They can’t be, right?”
That got me thinking — could these clinics selling injections of unproven stem cells decide for themselves that they are essential and so keep their doors open to try to keep the cash flowing? Would they really do that? There are already concerns even about actual cleared clinical trials on stem cells for COVID-19, but what about the clinics already known for taking risks?
To find out I called a dozen stem cell clinics in total from four states including CA, TX, CO, and FL, and I got an answer from 10 of them.
Of these 10, 6 said they were doing stem cell injections presently and 4 said they weren’t. Of those not currently doing stem cell injections, all said it was because of the pandemic.
I found this surprising as my prediction was that only maybe 3 out of 10 would be still open, but maybe I was naive.
I asked the 6 that are still doing stem cell injections if they were taking extra precautions because of the pandemic, and 5 said “yes”.
These were fairly uniform and included only having one patient in the office at a time so you don’t have multiple patients waiting together in a small space and wiping down the office with disinfectant wipes more than usual. One place also said the entire staff are wearing masks.
If they asked why I was calling, I said I was looking into whether clinics offering stem cells were affected by the pandemic and if there were taking any special precautions if they were still injecting stem cells.
The clinics generally seemed pretty low key on the phone, but one place that I won’t name immediately seemed very suspicious and the woman on the other end of the phone said loudly at one point, “Who IS this!?”
Of the places not currently doing stem cell “treatments”, two said it was because they were not “essential businesses”, while one of the places still doing the stem cell shots said they were open because they were an essential business. I guess “essential” is a relative term?
At those 6 out of 10 clinics still doing stem cell injections, patients are not only having the risks of the unproven stem cells, but also potential COVID-19 exposures. I didn’t ask, but I’d imagine business is way down for the clinics since most people are staying home.
Yes, this was not a rigorous scientific survey, but it does serve as an indicator of the mindset of some stem cell clinics. On the other hand, I have to give some credit to the 4 that stopped doing stem cell shots.
9 thoughts on “Who IS this!? Surprising phone survey of stem cell clinics on their COVID-19 pandemic status”
I recently contacted R3 Stem Cell International, bottom line one of many businesses offering MSC treatments outside of the USA. The FDA has no jurisdiction outside of the USA. R3 indicated using umbilical cord derived MSC at $2950 per 30mil. The other clinics are in the same ballpark of pricing, like they communicate with each other on pricing. I like Neil Riordan’s clinic because he built his own lab for this specific purpose, under FDA guidelines and ISO9001. They would not treat my chronic GVHD, but offered to treat me under the guise of frailty and advanced age degeneration. I would go for that, I need to affirm and see what the total cost would be. I’m communicating with these clinics to see what the costs will be at each clinic.
Emory Medical College have an ongoing clinical trial using MSC from patient, a SCT patient who is on excess 40mg prednisone daily to see if the MSC infusions will allow a reduction in prednisone to 2.5mg daily. I talked with the clinical coordinator: basically withdraw aspirate from patient bone marrow, separate MSCs and grow out in tissue culture medium, then once every 7 days infuse patient at rate of 2mil cells per kg. for 4 weeks. Results so far I don’t know.
Both Mesoblast and Pluristem were allowed by FDA to infuse their proprietary MSC product in patients that were on ventilators at the height of the Covid crisis in NYC, with each trial having 85% + success of enabling the patient to get off the ventilator.
There are a number of qualified clinics outside the US offering MSC treatments. Neil Riordan PhD stem cell clinic in Panama (Joe Rogan interviewed Neil Riordan and Mel Gibson about Gibson’s father’s treatment, worth a watch.
Clinic in Puerto Vallarta Dream Body Clinic; bioXcellerator clinic in Medellin Columbia, Stem Cell Clinic in San Jose CR; there is a clinic in Cayman Islands; R3 Stem Cell has clinics in Cancun and Tiajuana. So there are some choices at this time, very unfortunate that this is not available in the USA (the greatest country in the world). Seems like they could regulate it like everything else, and make it more available to the citizenry in the US.
If anyone has gotten a treatment or looked into getting a treatment please reply to this comment, thanks.
As we all know, of course, the only thing that will give anyone immunity would be a vaccine! One has to wonder how the axti-vax movement will handle their ideology in the face of this pandemic.
Who you should look at is Advanced Medical Integration.. Their fearless leader Mike Carberry is promoting Corecyte (PRED Biotech) through an IV for COVID-19 immunity. He’s on camera saying it as well as promoting it in all of his clinics. It’s disgusting and predatory in the worst way,. He’s so bold that he gives handouts in his office promoting IV “stem cells” for COVID-19 immunity.
Did you call CellTex in Houston? They are completing an FDA approved study using autologous fat-derived MSCs for COVID-19. 200M MSC infusions in Houston. I’m confident that gives you heartburn.
Ironically, Predictive Biotech just furloughed/laid off a ton of its work force… as a publicly traded company, they can’t afford the salaries during a time where so many of their revenue-producing clinics are closed – yet somehow they can rationalize Mike Carberry risking that kind of exposure? It is shocking, as Predictive claims to be the “most FDA friendly” of all manufacturers, though apparently the homologous use guidelines of Wharton’s Jelly seem to not apply to CoreCyte in this instance (clearly an opinion by AMI, not fact!).
Interested to shift topic to something more science based though relevant – thoughts on the differences between live MSC’s versus MSC-derived Exosomes in the Covid19 studies we are seeing? Specifically the potential for lab-stressed exosomes to be more pulmonary-specific? How about the argument that live MSC’s have the potential to “adapt to their environment” and secrete these specialized exosomes themselves? There are also those who note that allogeneic MSC’s don’t have the ability to react to the host environment the way that endogenous MSC’s would.
I’ll admit I laughed at the one open clinic who aren’t taking any extra precautions against COVID-19. Come for a shot of unapproved/illegal stem cells, stay for some COVID-19 exposure?
No problem…you come back next week for the exosomes from the stem cells you got this week, it´s totally safe you know
Luckily they cure everything and make you live forever. They will also cure all your personal problems and make you rich. Flat tire? Apply stem cells. Leaky faucet? Apply stem cells! House on fire? APPLY STEM CELLS!
But wait, there is more! If you buy now, for the low low price of only $1999 you’ll get a free mRNA booster totally FREE! And if you inject them in the next five minutes, we’ll also give you this back-scratcher also totally FREE!
(These statements have not been approved by the FDA, NIH, or any other scientific body, but who cares stem cell are magic… er science…)
Good job Paul.