As researchers and government officials rush to contain COVID-19, some clinics are hyping stem cells as a cure for this public health crisis.
Concern over these claims were reported in the Los Angeles Times and journal Cell Stem Cell, among many outlets.
“Such businesses target prospective clients with misleading claims, expose patients to potentially risky stem cell-based products, and undermine efforts to develop evidence-based treatments for COVID-19,” says bioethicist and Cell Stem Cell author Leigh Turner.
Scientific societies, including the International Society of Stem Cell Research, have issued statements asserting the need to be a “vocal and active opponent” of these clinics and their purported therapies.
While legitimate clinical trials using stem cells for COVID-19 are underway, there are currently no FDA approved treatments.
“It is very disappointing that these clinics prey on people’s fear,” says Rachel Beddard, Chief Medical Officer at BioBridge Global. “But that also highlights the need for our organization to continue its pioneering efforts because we strive to adhere to all regulations and our patients deserve the best therapies that can be provided.”
GenCure, a subsidiary of BioBridge Global, only works with stem cell researchers seeking approval for therapies through the FDA.
In the past year, the FDA cracked down on clinics marketing illegal cellular therapy products that were causing harm to patients.
“It is very sad that clinics offering illegal cellular therapy products have been utilizing the fear of COVID-19 to market bogus treatments and cures to people. The FDA can not shut down these rogue clinics fast enough,” says Scott Jones, VP of Scientific Affairs at BioBridge Global.
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