Dr. John Schultz gives an injection of bone marrow derived stem cells into the knee of patient Steve Brink from Washington state at the Regenexx offices in Broomfield June 12. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)
Broomfield's Regenexx, a stem cell treatment network, has completed its merger with Des Moines, Iowa-based Harbor View Medical.
The company corporate headquarters will move to Des Moines as a result, with the company's medical headquarters remaining in Broomfield, according to spokeswoman Caroline Patterson.
Patterson said there would be no layoffs in Broomfield as a result of the merger.
Regenexx co-founder, Dr. Christopher Centeno, a pioneer in using stem cells to treat orthopedic injuries, will maintain his role as chief medical officer and Jason Hellickson will become CEO.
Regenexx treatments include injection of a patient's own stem cells and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to encourage healing of tendons, joints and muscles.
"Most of what we currently call orthopedic surgery will, in the next 10-20 years, be in the dust bin of history," Centeno told the Daily Camera last month. "Thirty years from now, cutting people open and drilling holes will be considered barbaric."
Despite advances in research, critics say the safety and effectiveness of these regenerative treatments is largely unregulated and remains poorly understood.
A study by Mayo Clinic, whose results were published last year, noted that patients in a blind study, who had arthritis in both knees, saw benefits from the treatment, but that it wasn't clear why. Just one knee had actually been injected with the stem cells.
The stem cell treatments have generated controversy among some medical professionals because they cost thousands of dollars and have not been widely studied. Last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a series of scientific meetings examining how best to regulate and ensure the safety and efficacy of this approach.
The Mayo Clinic study, overseen by the FDA, concluded that the procedure it studied was safe to undergo, but it was not ready to recommend it for "routine arthritis care."
Still the use of stem cell treatments in everything from veterinary clinics to dermatology orthopedic practices is growing. Founded in 2005, Regenexx lists 48 clinics worldwide, including a new facility it opened in Mumbai this month.
Jerd Smith: 303-473-1332, email@example.com or twitter.com/jerd_smith
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