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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
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Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Authorities Shut Controversial German Stem Cell Clinic
10 May 2011 3:18 pm
BERLIN—Health authorities in Germany have shut down a large clinic that had been peddling unproven stem cell treatments for a variety of physical disorders, including cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injury. The XCell clinic had taken advantage of a loophole in European regulations that allowed some treatments already in use when the law took effect to continue for 18 months without formal approval. That grace period ran out in January, however, and German authorities apparently shut down the clinic in late April.
Local authorities are also investigating possible criminal charges against the clinic’s administration and one of its doctors following two cases in which the treatment went very wrong. In October, an 18-month-old boy died after doctors at the clinic injected stem cells into his brain. A few months earlier, a 10-year-old boy almost died after undergoing similar treatment. He is now more severely disabled than before the therapy. The clinic charged more than 3000 patients up to €26,000 each for its services.
The clinic’s founder, Dutch physician Cornelis Kleinbloesem, moved to Germany after his clinic in Leuvenheim, the Netherlands, was shut down in 2006. XCell had operations in Düsseldorf and Cologne.
The German newspaper WirtschaftsWoche reports that the company’s main shareholders, California millionaire Pawan Seth and French investor André Stamm, fired Kleinbloesem on 22 April. It says they promoted XCell’s chief of research Hans de Munter and its chief doctor Dirk Happich to be new co-directors.