January 26, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Leigh Turner

6 min read

Last week I wrote a long post detailing the troubling multimillion-dollar reverberations between the Duke autism program and a for-profit stem cell clinic in Panama called The Stem Cell Institute. The potential entanglements between the Duke group and the Panama clinic raise a bunch of questions and concerns. They center on questionable, unproven autism “treatments”. In Duke’s case, their own clinical trial showed there was no benefit, but they forging ahead anyway. Muddy waters This Duke-stem cell clinic situation is a prime example of …Read More

7 min read

Stem cell clinics and suppliers have been getting into the business of making promotional films to generate more revenue, but now there’s something very different in the cinematic stem cell arena called From Jail Cell to Stem Cell by filmmaker Doug Orchard. It is at its heart an exposé film about some in my view particularly concerning stem cell and exosome clinics and suppliers. The only other thing similar to this was 2019’s great podcast Bad Batch. Reviewing the movie From Jail Cell to Stem Cell Today’s …Read More

8 min read

Some readers suggested earlier this year that I look into a clinic firm called ‘Stem Cell Centers’ with its owner Travis Autor. I didn’t have time to do much since I’ve been very busy in the lab before the state Attorney Generals of Iowa and Nebraska sued them based on a number of allegations including in the Iowa case for fraud. This is a very significant development for the field. The suits focus both on medically unproven and non-FDA approved stem cells and exosomes. …Read More

10 min read

One of the most common questions that patients have asked me over the last decade is, “how much do stem cells cost?” They actually seem most often to want to know more specifically how much the treatments should cost. To try to authoritatively answer this we need data from the present and past along with expert perspectives. These kinds of questions on what are common and reasonable prices have continued in 2021. However, the types of queries have also evolved as things have gotten …Read More

3 min read

There is always plenty of complicated, mixed-bag news on the stem cell and regenerative medicine front so it’s great to highlight when there’s some good news out there. Today’s post includes several such upbeat items. At the bottom I’ve included a list of some recent interesting publications as well. Good news on vision front: jCyte Therapy Deal with Santen Pharmaceutical. David Jensen over at California Stem Cell Report reported on this blockbuster deal for a quarter of a billion dollars. Jensen wrote: “The California …Read More

5 min read

A Minnesota doctor running a stem cell clinic offering bone marrow injections for a variety of health conditions was subject to action by state medical regulators. The Star Tribune’s reporter Jeremy Olson has a new article on the action, which included a $13K+ fine. Pain doc gets attention of state regulators Olson’s piece has some of the key details: “Dr. Matthew Thorson was reprimanded late last year after the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice received complaints that his Stem Cell Centers of Minnesota practice …Read More

4 min read

The FDA just sent another untitled letter to a producer of a potentially non-compliant perinatal “stem cell” product that may be an unapproved drug. This follows past non-warning letters and/or inspection reports made public to Liveyon, R3 Stem Cell, Stemell, and others. RAPS has more on the story of the new letter here. This newest untitled letter went to RichSource Stem Cells, Inc. and its CEO Sara Oracle, a firm which markets an unusual “combo” product described this way by the FDA, “a combination …Read More

6 min read

There appears to be a big, risky loophole in the relatively new national Right To Try law. Some folks apparently anticipated this problem long ago, but I think most of us weren’t aware of it. Update: More specifically, some law and policy experts were writing about this and other potential loopholes in 2018. I recommend this piece from Beth Roxland and Elisa A. Hurley on the The PRIM&R blog. What’s the deal? It seems to be a case of what I would call piggybacking …Read More

2 min read

How 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 …Read More

4 min read

I’m a biologist and genetics researcher, but as I have time I still squeeze in a little research on stem cell clinics when I can, and my new pub in Regenerative Medicine is notable for looking at changes in clinic firms in a unique kind of way. In the paper I went back to the 351 stem cell clinic firms with their 570 stem cell clinic locations that Leigh Turner and I defined in our 2015-2016 study published in Cell Stem Cell. I looked …Read More