NUMEROUS BUSINESSES have made unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims about supposed stem cell products to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), researchers said in a paper on Thursday in the journal Stem Cell Reports.  

Their paper cites more than 20 companies that have received warning letters from the US Food and Drug Administration or Federal Trade Commission for promoting unlicensed stem cell treatments for COVID-19.  

Exactly how many businesses are involved in manufacturing or selling these bogus products directly to consumers is unknown, according to the authors.  

Stem cells, from which other cells with specialized functions can be generated, are presently used to treat only a few diseases and conditions. No such therapy has been approved by government regulators for preventing or treating COVID-19.  

Many advertisements falsely claim their therapies’ effectiveness and safety are supported by evidence.  

“The spread of such misinformation has potential to cause real harm to patient safety and public health by making it difficult or impossible for patients and other members of the public to distinguish evidence-based scientific claims from pseudoscience and quackery,” the authors said. — Reuters