With Texas pouring millions of dollars into developing adult stem-cell treatments, doctors there are already injecting paying customers with unproven preparations, supplied by an ambitious new company.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any such stem-cell treatment for routine clinical use, although it does sanction them for patients enrolled in registered clinical trials. Some advocates of the treatments argue, however, that preparations based on a patient’s own cells should not be classed as drugs, and should not therefore fall under the FDA’s jurisdiction.
There are certainly plenty of people eager to have the treatments. Texas governor Rick Perry, for instance, has had stem-cell injections to treat a back complaint, and has supported legislation to help create banks to store patients’ harvested stem cells.