New stem cell clinic feigns government approval with provocative name

Some American stem cell clinics that operate without FDA approval can give the appearance of being in the mainstream of academic stem cell research.

Sometimes they go a step further to hint at or even say that they have some kind of federal approval as we saw in the past with the website.

Why do this?

Broadly from a stem cell clinic perspective these efforts might pay financial dividends because patients trust the clinics more as a result.


For example, some stem cell clinics tout their listings on as somehow meaning that their for-profit stem cell “treatments” are FDA- or NIH-approved, which they mostly aren’t. At the same time the clinics when pressed generally assert that they do not need any FDA or other approvals.

The specific names of the clinics and their affiliated organizations are important too for sounding authoritative. A stem cell clinic that just recently popped up really takes the cake on this front with its name: National Institutes for Regenerative Medicine.

Now as you read that name, don’t you think of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or some other U.S. governmental body?

It seems so similar. The clinic refers to itself by the shorter name “National IRM” too.


As far as I can tell the National IRM has nothing to do with NIH or even the now defunct NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine, which used to be the part of NIH that specifically had to do with regenerative medicine.

Instead, National IRM is an affiliate of Cell Surgical Network, potentially the largest chain of stem cell clinics operating in the U.S. and notably one without FDA approval for their stem cell product (SVF) that I am aware of to date.

Read full, original article: New stem cell clinic ‘National Institutes for Regenerative Medicine’ has NIH-like name, cites UCSD affiliation

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