The  Calexit and Texit state secession campaigns for California and Texas to leave the particular union, which are  linked to Russian President Putin, will never be going to be successful. However , if some Texas lawmakers plus stem cell clinics there have their way, Texas might take a big step away from the rest of us on the stem cellular front, endangering patients. Such a development would strongly comparison to all the great, cutting edge stem cell research going on within labs across that state. Somehow this major advancement has not been covered yet by national or even Texas press.

What’ s the scoop?

Three bills are pending at the Texas Capitol that when passed and signed into law would pave the way in which for unproven, risky stem cell therapies to be offered much more readily to patients by clinics. The Tx stem cell bills include HB 661 and HB 810 by Rep. Tan Parker, and  HB 3236 by Kyle Kacal.   You can learn more about the expenses by following direct links to each bill here , here , and here .

HB  661  appears to be a very loose kind of right to try effort that concerningly would extend it from restricted just to patients along with terminal illnesses to also those with chronic conditions that may be just about anything. In a sense, a stem cell clinic’ s personal doctor perhaps could decide whether their patient/customer includes a chronic disease that is eligible. How often would the particular clinic doctor say “ no” since that would indicate the patient would not get the treatment and so would not pay all of them big bucks?

Stem cell cartoon

HB 810  is a stem cell-specific kind of right to try bill that could greatly lower oversight standards and put patients at better risks. The third bill, HB 3236, is what I contact “ Right to Profit” for your clinics because if that bill passes then the clinics might have free rein to make millions in profits from susceptible patients. How  would that be a good thing for most Texans? It wouldn’ t. In fact , I see it as a customer ripoff bill.

Other than stem cell centers, it’ s hard imagine many  fans of these expenses. Most people I have talked to strongly oppose them which includes top stem cell scientists in Texas. The organization Texans for Cures, which has been very balanced, sensible and encouraging of stem cell-based regenerative medicine for many years, strongly opposes these bills too. Here’ s a statement from the Chairman David Bales:

“ Right after careful examination of HB 661, HB 810 by Representative. Parker and HB 3236 by Texans for Remedies Medical Advisory Committee, which includes leaders like Dr . Doris Taylor and Dr . William Decker, we decided to strenuously oppose all three bills because they jeopardize patient protection and responsible research in the State of Texas”.

There’ s broader opposition too. For example, the largest global stem cell research organization,   ISSCR, is opposed to these stem cell bills. You can read more about ISSCR’ s viewpoints in a letter from the President Sally Temple   to Texas legislator Todd Hunter.   Here’ s a big picture estimate from the ISSCR letter:

“ … these bills will allow snake oil salesmen to sell unproven and scientifically dubious therapies to desperate patients. ”

What businesses exactly would remain to benefit mostly at the expense of patients?

In our survey last year , Leigh Turner and I found 71 stem cell companies in Texas that did not appear to have FDA acceptance for selling stem cells to consumers so these types of companies would likely stand to profit from the trio associated with stem cell bills under consideration. When I think of stem cell centers in Texas, one called Celltex specifically comes to mind. It really is most famous for having transplanted experimental stem cells by the great into then governor Rick Perry. I was fortunate to have the chance to have met in a small group along with Perry some years ago here in California. It had been clear he genuinely felt that the infused Celltex come cells had made a positive difference for him, yet collecting and impartially analyzing data from a large number of patients including experimental controls is the only way to make certain about this kind of still  unproven  clinical science.

What’ s the back story on Celltex?   Celltex was one of the first high-profile stem cell clinics within the U. S. Despite its friendly relationship with Perry, it ran afoul of the FDA some years back again. After that it headed south for the border to do its scientific transplants in Mexico even as it remained HQ’ g in Texas. I’ ve covered Celltex on this weblog in the past  and you can see archived blogposts here . Over the years of blogging occasionally  about Celltex I’ ve been verbally attacked and even threatened simply by some of their supporters so there are clearly strong feelings around.

Since federal law trumps state regulation it’ s unclear what would happen if these expenses pass. However , with Donald Trump and Rick Perry, who is now DOE Secretary,   both in power in the federal level, and uncertainty about the views of long term FDA leadership on stem cells, maybe the feds would back down on stem cells if Texas move these laws? That’ s probably what the folks support these bills  are daydreaming about as they imagine the near future.   Their wish is likely that Trump & Perry  will lean heavily on the FDA to back off. This kind of political pressure on the FDA is possible and in theory can work, but it would be a really bad thing for each patients and the FDA itself in terms of its reputation if this backed down.

“ Now, hold on, John, ” you might say, “ these laws are only about producing promising stem cell therapies available to needy patients! ” As much as that sounds good, I believe that’ s incorrect.   No one is more bullish on stem cells compared to me, but despite their great longer-term potential each for healing patients and boosting the economy, mainly they are not ready.

The stem cell industry has good momentum now and I believe new game-changing therapies are coming via  several types of stem cells which includes adult stem cells, but unfortunately it  takes period so if you take shortcuts you can royally mess things up plus harm many people.   Today most of what is offered on sale on the stem cell front directly marketed to sufferers by clinics is more hype than hope. These Tx bills would end up just helping the clinics plus risk harming patients with new health risks and large hits to their wallets. The US stem cell field, which includes physicians and scientists working hard every day especially in  Tx labs, but also all across America, also stands to be injured by these bills.

If you  really are a Texan and find this situation concerning please  call your own representatives and tell them to oppose these types of bills. There is a reasonable chance that these bills will never turn out to be laws, with them particularly likely facing opposition in the Tx Senate, but you never know. Make a difference by helping to make sure this particular ends right.

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