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I first became more interested in dubious stem cell clinics nearly two years ago, when I learned that hockey legend Gordie Howe was to treat his stroke. Being from Detroit, I imbibed the hockey madness of this town growing up, and know that Detroiters hold Gordie Howe in incredibly high esteem. Prominent in stories about Howe were two companies: Stemedica Cell Technologies, a San Diego company marketing stem cell treatments for all manner of ailments, and Novastem a partner company in Mexico that uses Stemedica products. Also prominent in the stories was Clínica Santa Clarita, the Tijuana-based clinic where Howe received his stem cell infusion. As far as I was able to glean, it’s a clinic to which Novastem supplies Stemedica stem cells. Basically, what happened is that Stemedica CEO Dr. Maynard Howe (no relation to Gordie Howe’s family) and VP Dave McGuigan contacted the Howe family late 2014, after having seen news stories about how poorly Gordie Howe was doing, to offer Howe its stem cell therapy.
“Stem Cell Research Products – Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies” report helps you to understand the prevailing market conditions and giving you guidance to strategically position and develop stem cell product lines.
The first thing to remember about any stem-cell cream you might spot at the department store, says dermatologist Fredric Brandt, MD, is that "there are no actual stem cells in any of these products." What they do contain—even in the case of most of those that are based on botanical stem-cell sources—are the proteins and growth factors the stem cells produce. Human stem cells are sort of like blank CDs—all are undifferentiated, but each type has varying levels of potential. Those that are completely unprogrammed (such as the pluripotent stem cells found in human embryos, the type that has been the source of so much political furor) can divide to become anything from liver cells to brain cells, depending on what molecular instructions they receive, while adult stem cells typically only can work to repair the type of tissue they're situated within. However, they also can be unpredictable, which is what makes the transference of whole human stem cells for the purpose of beautification a rather iffy proposition.