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Pending FDA Nod, S.D. Stem Cell Outfit Offers Treatment in Tijuana

A San Diego-based stem cell company has found fertile ground in Tijuana to offer stem cell treatments not yet approved in the United States. Stemedica has partnered with a Tijuana hospital to offer ad

Pending FDA Nod, S.D. Stem Cell Outfit Offers Treatment in Tijuana

A San Diego-based stem cell company has found fertile ground in Tijuana to offer stem cell treatments not yet approved in the United States. Stemedica has partnered with a Tijuana hospital to offer adult stem cells to patients who've exhausted other options. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

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Stemedica CEO Maynard Howe says his sister-in-law was paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident three years ago. He says she exhausted her therapy options in the United States but was still unable to move. Howe, who was retired, says he and his brother found a Russian company that offered treatment using adult stem cells.

<b> Howe </b> : And after her first treatment, she was able to stand up. Eight months later, after her second treatment, she was able to drive a car with hand controls, bathe herself. And we basically came out of retirement and said, ‘This is something that we cannot let go.’

Howe and his brother acquired the rights to the technology. They've partnered with Tijuana's Hospital Angeles while the company seeks FDA approval.

However, a spokesman for San Diego County's Medical Society says using Tijuana's more liberal medical climate to provide unconventional therapy is inappropriate and can create false hope.

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Amy Isackson, KPBS News.