Selling With Stem Cells

Posted by Pete Shanks March 24, 2010
Biopolitical Times

The Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) is battling biotech companies over "stem cell cosmetics." Several companies are selling lotions that use material derived from the fluid used to culture human stem cells. Evidently "stem cells" are a selling point, even though the products don't actually include stem cells and have no connection with embryonic stem cells; what is cultured is generally derived from fat tissue. The KFDA is not convinced of the products' safety or, perhaps, efficacy. JoongAng Daily headlined its report:

A miracle salve or another stem cell fraud?

A twist in this is that RNL Bio (and perhaps other companies) has been selling the stuff in the U.S. -- and, according to the Korea Times, using that "to avoid screening at home." Dr. Jucre products (JUvenescence Creation with Cell REgeneration) include the Million Stem Cell Magic Concentrate™ (28 vial set) for a mere $999 (+ tax & shipping). It uses "only naturally derived proteins that are combined to form RNL Lipotein® a new patent pending cosmetic ingredient" and has been "specifically designed to dramatically change the appearance of your skin by delivering  a very high concentration of naturally derived proteins on a daily basis."

RNL Bio is a genuine biotech company, not just a marketing scam. (They are also in the dog-cloning business, as we have noted.) They and their competitors do have to make a living. According to the Korea Times:

The companies are hoping that beauty products will generate an early return on their lavish investments in stem cell technology, with the prospects for therapeutic applications remaining murky and distant.

But isn't it remarkable that the promise of regenerative medicine has devolved to skin creams?

Previously on Biopolitical Times: