In a message posted on Facebook in early May, a startup company in San Diego tried to sell a big batch of futuristic hope to those infected by COVID-19.
“Did you know that STEM CELLS can be administered intravenously and by inhalation through a nebulizer to treat lung damage caused by COVID-19 and other non-related lung conditions,” said the post from Brexo Bio.
The company supported the claim with a short video saying the treatment had succeeded with 73 coronavirus patients in the United Arab Emirates. For those interested in learning how to get even better treatments than those foreign therapies, Brexo Bio provided its phone number.
There’s only one catch: So far, no proven therapies exist for COVID-19.
Stem cell treatments offer tantalizing hope for the future. But such lofty claims are not out of character in the world of stem cell marketing, where hundreds of U.S. businesses offer remedies for various ailments, virtually all unproven by American scientific standards.
Since March, enforcement against stem-cell-related firms has increased.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which oversees the safety and effectiveness of new medicine, has sent at least five of them letters involving questionable coronavirus-related claims. The Federal Trade Commission, charged with protecting consumers from misleading advertising, also has issued at least eight warning letters about unsubstantiated stem cell therapies for the virus.