Sask. MS patient recounts good experience with research firm now under question

Posted: January 16, 2015 at 8:40 pm

A multiple sclerosis patient from Saskatchewan who travelled to India to undergo an experimental stem cell treatment is defending the Winnipeg company that recruited her for the therapy and study, which some have called into question.

Regenetek Research has been under scrutiny following media reports this week about its CEO, Doug Broeska.

Broeska had recruited MS patients to take part in the experimental and expensive study, which was administered in India, involving stem cell injections combined with so-called liberation therapy, which involves the widening of veins in the neck.

He was, until recently, also the principal researcher for the study related to the treatment.

However, some patients have questioned Broeska's qualifications as a researcher. As well, some say the therapy did not work for them, and they were not receive proper followup.

Other patients, like Linda Friesen of Tisdale, Sask., reported having success with the therapy.

"I am shocked right now. I am surprised in what has been said," she told CBC News when asked about the latest allegations.

Friesen said she used to rely on a wheelchair because of her MS and injuries from a car accident, but she left that wheelchair behind at the hospital in India after undergoing the experimental treatment which cost her $34,000 US in 2013.

"It's so amazing to have this opportunity to be part of the research," she said in a promotional video produced by Regenetek.

Friesen told CBC News that the company has paid her to help other MS patients in Saskatchewan with their paperwork.

Sask. MS patient recounts good experience with research firm now under question

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