A stem cell therapy center and its owners in Seattle are accused of engaging in a patient-funded research scheme. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson in March filed a lawsuit against US Stemology and its owner while calling the scheme a modern version of “snake oil” sales done via the Seattle Stem Cell Center.
Ferguson accuses the center and its owners of bilking 107 people of about $750,000, Ferguson says the center charged patients up to $10,000 each for stem cell treatments that they claimed would help to cure a variety of ailments. Those ailments include COVID-19, Parkinson’s, asthma, and many other diseases and medical conditions.
Ferguson accuses the center of engaging in “unproven treatments” as part of a patient-funded research scheme. He also says the stem cell center’s staff and its owner falsely claimed the costly treatments were part of clinical trials.
Ferguson says the alleged clinical trials did not follow accepted standards for peer-reviewed scientific research. There was no independent review of the alleged research. The only review done was by the center and its staff.
Ferguson says he became aware of the scheme when a Washington resident complained. The resident said the Seattle Stem Cell Center’s staff were claiming the treatments helped to prevent people from catching the virus. They also claimed the treatments help to cure COVID-19 and a critically ill patient had recovered because of the stem cell treatments.
Despite the claims of the center’s staff and owner, Ferguson says there is no reliable scientific evidence to support them. The center removed its online ads promoting its stem cell treatments after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Ferguson.
But the Washington State Attorney General says he discovered the center’s staff is making similar claims about a variety of other ailments with no scientific data to support them.
Ferguson initiated an investigation in June 2021, which he says caused the stem cell center to stop accepting new patients.
Ferguson accuses US Stemology and its sole owner of violating the Washington Consumer Protection Act.
The state seeks $12,500 in fines for each violation, plus full reimbursement for costs paid by the patients. Ferguson says the financial penalties could add up to millions of dollars.