A prominent regenerative medicine company announced Thursday it will open an adipose stem cell processing center in Denver in the coming weeks.
IntelliCell BioSciences, Inc. said it plans to open an adipose, or fat, stem cell processing center in the city in the next six weeks to make stem cells derived from adipose tissue available to doctors in the metro Denver area.
While the process is hailed by IntelliCell as a “new and exciting frontier in medicine,” other medical experts are not as enthusiastic, calling the use of adipose stem cells an “utter disgrace” being done “without sufficient data and an appropriate safety trial.”
Adipose stem cells are derived from adipose tissues that are used for the storage of fat. The cells, found in adolescents and adults, are separated from the fat through the use of a centrifuge and have similarities to the cells from bone marrow in that they multiply by cell division to regenerate tissue and dying cells once they are fully developed from embryonic stem cells.
But according to IntelliCell, adipose stem cells are more useful and are more abundant thanks to their rapid development. It takes days to cultivate a therapeutically viable number of bone marrow stem cells, the company said, while adipose stem cells can be separated from fat in approximately an hour.
In addition, the average cubic centimeter of fat has somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million stem cells, IntelliCell stated.
The IntelliCell BioSciences company is one of hundreds of facilities in the U.S. and Europe performing reconstructive and therapeutic operations using adipose stem cells which are autologous, which means the stem cells are derived from and given back to the same person. The company says that while the use of autologous adipose stem cells is already widely accepted in Europe, the use of the stem cells in the U.S. is picking up steam thanks to a 2009 FDA law on autologous stem cell development and usage.
IntelliCell says researchers are studying adipose stem cells not only for aesthetic purposes, but also the treatment of arthritis, orthopedic injuries (knees, elbows, shoulders and the back), healing wounds, gum regeneration and congestive heart failure.
But Dr. John Kessler, director of the Neuroscience Institute at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, rejects the claims of adipose stem cells as a “miracle drug” without the proper testing and trials and adds that the sudden growth of companies such as IntelliCell will hurt the field even before it gets off the ground.
“It’s an utter disgrace that without sufficient data and an appropriate safety trial that there is good rationale for doing these,” said Kessler told Medill Reports Chicago. “Stem cells have become a very popular thing and people know about them…but these are people who are trading on the fact that it’s become a very popular concept.”
IntelliCell, however, is high on its potential and the service it will soon offer Denver doctors.
“We believe IntelliCell is setting the gold standard for adipose stem cell processing,” company Chairman and CEO Dr. Steven Victor said. “Our technology provides stem cell counts and viability checks for each specimen processed, as well as documents the quality and quantity of the stem cells produced.
“The Company’s entry into the Denver market will grant us the opportunity to offer this community of physicians, researchers, and healthcare centers access to the highest number and quality stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells which contain adult stem cells through our proprietary, FDA compliant, process. We are very pleased to see Denver receive this promising service.”