Moriguchi admits to lying about stem cell trial

Monday, Oct. 15, 2012

NEW YORK/BOSTON Hisashi Moriguchi, a Japanese researcher who had said he implemented the world’s first clinical trial using a trailblazing stem cell technology, admitted Saturday most of what he claimed in an academic conference presentation about the procedure was false.

At a news conference in New York, Moriguchi said, “While the treatment was implemented, it was only one procedure. At the end of the day, I lied.”

He earlier said treatment using induced pluripotent stem cells was conducted on a total of six people, including the first case on a man with a failing heart in February this year. He also corrected the timing of the trial to June last year.

He said he was present during the procedure allegedly undertaken in the United States and showed his passport record to reporters.

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he claimed that the trial was conducted, said Friday there are no records of him having undertaken the procedure or of applying for approval to carry it out.

Moriguchi has been staying in New York after a presentation of his alleged treatment at a two-day stem cell research conference that ran from Wednesday at Rockefeller University.

On the timing of the surgery procedure, Moriguchi said, “It wasn’t February 12. Let me correct it. It was in the first half of June last year. I don’t remember (the exact date) until I check it later. Six people were present there.”

During the news conference, he also said the procedure was in fact conducted at another hospital in Boston, rather than MGH, affiliated with Harvard University.

“iPS cells were successfully cultured in a large volume and surgery was conducted,” he said. “Since it can’t be done alone, I needed help from many people concerned.”

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Moriguchi admits to lying about stem cell trial