January 26, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

amniotic stem cells

3 min read

The perinatal stem cell clinic supplier Liveyon has had many issues recently including an FDA inspection that  in my view didn’t go well and which I’ll return to in a minute. First, some background on the company and this troubled industry. E. coli and other pathogens ended up in some of the Liveyon product somehow prior to injections of it into patients at clinics. There was the recall.  A dozen or more patients ended up in the hospital. Patients lawsuits stemming from that are …Read More

4 min read

The birth-related stem cell clinic industry is a serious problem for patients, the stem cell field, and the FDA as the clinics sell more and more of what I think of as “zombie” injections. One of the biggest changes in the last 2 years in the unproven stem cell clinic arena was predicted by the data that Leigh Turner and I published in one of our collaborative papers in which we saw an upward slope in the number of businesses selling amniotic or other …Read More

2 min read

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took some strong action against specific stem cell clinics today and the physician behind them. I see this as really good news and it’s something I’ve been pushing for years. The clinics in question in part marketed unproven stem cells for sick kids. Frankly, iffy for-profit stem cell “treatments” for kids is something that especially pisses me off as it’s even riskier and inherently raises more ethical issues.  In the announcement today, the FTC described a settlement and outlined …Read More

3 min read

The FDA has issued a recall of the main stem cell product of a California firm called Liveyon that is linked to unproven stem cell clinics. The recall seems to have been due to “adverse reactions.” An emerging big player in the birth-related stem cell clinic area? I’ve been hearing the name Liveyon pop up more often in the unproven stem cell clinic industry recently. More specifically, they seem to be a supplier and marketer of birth-related products to clinics. The clinics then in …Read More

2 min read

The cost of stem cell treatments is a big deal for many reasons including the burden it puts on patients, who often then turn to friends, family and even the Internet to try to obtain the money needed to pay the for-profit clinic. A reasonable question to ask is how the cost of a stem cell treatment compares to the costs of more standard of care options. Most often clinic stem cell offerings are more expensive, but not always. However, “value” is another consideration …Read More

4 min read

Ain’t nothing like the real thing…right? No, by the ‘real thing’ I’m not talking about Coke versus Pepsi or Coke versus Diet Coke, but rather stem cells. (On a side note there’s still some people who apparently believe the stem cell myth that there are stem cells in Pepsi). I get a regular stream of emails from patients and sometimes phone calls asking questions about stem cells and especially stem cell treatments, but at times I’m not sure the treatment in question really involves …Read More

3 min read

Even as some unproven, for-profit stem cell clinics promote themselves aggressively in many ways including now on TV, on the flip side lately we’ve seen more TV journalists covering questionable marketing by the clinics and negative patient outcomes. Today I saw that CBS This Morning, a national broadcast, had a fairly long TV segment on stem cell clinics. Even though the segment wasn’t perfect, it did a pretty good job overall. It was mostly focused on the case of patient Doris Tyler who alleges she …Read More

4 min read

Is “snake oil” too harsh a term for some of what is sold at some of the worst stem cell clinics? Is the phrase “stem cell clinics” itself accurate and useful in a broad sense? When we read or write the phrase “stem cell clinics”, most people generally know what we’re talking about, but it is not a very precise use of language, especially these days with so many different clinics out there, and there is a lot of room for error. There are …Read More

5 min read

Stem cell clinics marketing non-FDA approved therapies directly to consumers have been in various tense situations at times with the FDA or academics over the years, but more recently these stem cell clinic-related firms also appear in conflict with each other sometimes. The most notable recent example of conflict involves Dr. Christopher Centeno of Regenexx very strongly and publicly criticizing a firm called Stem Cell Institute of America. Centeno is vocal on his Regenexx blog about stem cell-related various issues. He is outspoken in …Read More

5 min read

According to The Bismarck Tribune and the AP/US News & World Report, the North Dakota Attorney General’s office is investigating a stem cell clinic in that state amid complaints. From the news articles: “The clinic has been offering stem cell injections for about a week and a half. Consumer Protection Division Director Parrell Grossman says there are concerns about alleged misrepresentations and questions over whether all available information is being given to potential patients.” A week and half is a short time so this particular state …Read More