Stem-cell venture goes offshore to sidestep regulations

The Ministry of Health and Welfare and RNL Bio Co., a Seoul-based bio venture, are locking horns over controversial stem cell operations on Korean patients in Japan and China arranged by the firm. The government is considering taking legal action against the stem cell developer for a violation of Korean pharmaceutical law that bans injections of manufactured stem cells without approval from the state-run drug agency.

Officials claim the firm has evaded the Korean law because it administered stem cell injections at its partner hospitals in Japan where the procedures are allowed. So far, the ministry has sued the company for minor cases such as running advertorials in local newspapers to appeal that their treatment methods in use of stem cells has proved its effectiveness.

RNL defended its overseas operations, saying it intended not to gain profits but to save patients from suffering. “Because of the local law, we can’t help but send patients overseas to administer stem cell injections,” Park Hye-rim, a publicist for the firm, told The Korea Herald.

For full article see Korea Herald.