U.S. hospital: No record of researcher's iPS trial

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012

BOSTON The U.S. hospital where researcher Hisashi Moriguchi claimed to have conducted a cutting-edge stem-cell treatment said Friday there are no records of him having undertaken the procedure or applying for approval to carry it out.

Moriguchi earlier said he had conducted the procedure on six patients at Massachusetts General Hospital, affiliated with Harvard University, where induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells produced from the livers of the patients, who were suffering from heart disease, were transplanted after growing them into heart muscle cells.

When confronted by reporters Friday in New York, however, Moriguchi was evasive about whether he actually performed the clinical procedure. "I would like to tell you the truth" on another occasion, he said.

Citing a hearing from a doctor who has coauthored reports with Moriguchi, the Massachusetts hospital said that "Dr. (Raymond) Chung has no knowledge of the clinical procedure that Dr. Moriguchi reported" recently at a stem-cell confab in New York.

"We cannot find any evidence of that procedure taking place at Massachusetts General Hospital," the hospital said in a statement. "No request to conduct that sort of clinical trial was ever submitted or approved" by the hospital's institutional review board, which reviews and approves all studies involving human patients.

"There is no evidence in the records of the Harvard University Institutional Review Board or the Institutional Review Board of Harvard Medical School of Moriguchi applying for permission to carry out any experiment of any kind," the hospital added.

A public relations official at the hospital said it believes a 34-year-old man with heart disease that Moriguchi claimed was the first of the six patients to receive a transplant does not exist.

The official said the hospital could not find any records indicating that the procedure claimed to have been taken by Moriguchi was applied to a patient at the hospital during the time when the man allegedly received the transplant.

Moriguchi identified himself as a visiting lecturer at Harvard, but the university has since said he currently has no affiliation with either it or the Massachusetts hospital.

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U.S. hospital: No record of researcher's iPS trial

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