Fallout from fake credentials

Posted: January 15, 2015 at 11:45 am

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

By: Mary Agnes Welch and Melissa Martin

Posted: 3:00 AM | Comments:

The University of Winnipeg has axed a joint project with Regenetek Research, the local company selling stem-cell treatment to people with multiple sclerosis.

The move by the university's ethics committee came Wednesday, hours after the Free Press published its investigation into Regenetek owner Doug Broeska's credentials and his clinical trial.

The university's move puts an end to Broeska's repeated claim he was about to launch a study with U of W's kinesiology faculty to track and test some of the 70 patients who paid Regenetek as much as $45,000 for experimental stem-cell transplants in India.

"The patient outcomes have been so significant that we will soon be announcing a companion study with the University of Winnipeg," Broeska told a prospective patient in an email obtained by the Free Press. "Dr. Glen Bergeron, assistant dean and one of Canada's foremost physiotherapeutic specialists (head physiotherapist, Canadian Olympic Team) has confirmed our evidence based on patient observation... and would not have contemplated such a study if our patient/subjects had not demonstrated neural pathway restoration as a result of their therapies."

Winnipeg-based Regenetek and the U of W signed a preliminary letter of intent last spring. The company even gave the U of W $10,000 to hire a young researcher. She moved to Winnipeg from Waterloo, Ont., and began work in November in anticipation the joint research project would soon win ethics approval from the university's review panel.

Last week, the U of W's ethics committee sent the proposal back to Bergeron with questions and concerns. On Wednesday morning, the committee rejected the joint application outright.

Bergeron did not reply to requests for comment. Instead, Jino Distasio, the U of W's associate vice-president of research and innovation, said the university takes the health of study participants extremely seriously and already harboured concerns about the project.

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Fallout from fake credentials

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