Patricia Murray uncovers the business secrets of the Nobelist Martin Evans and his partner Ajan Reginald. It seems the magic iMP cells used to treat patients in Greece were drawn from the blood of patients in Swansea, for the purpose of a secret PhD thesis. There is no serious science behind it, only serious investor money and a fraudulent patent.
Sir Martin Evans, winner of Nobel prize 2007, founded in 2009 the stem cell start-up Celixir, together with a struck-off dentist Ajan Reginald. With the help of the British heart surgeon Stephen Westaby, they ran a very profitable clinical trial in Greece, which now moved into UK.
The 2008 Lancet paper of Paolo Macchiarini and Martin Birchall about the world first trachea transplant might end up retracted. Until recently, the journal’s editor Richard Horton used to ignore and suppress “non peer-reviewed” evidence, but due to combined pressure of activism, media and politics, things started to move.
The 2015 Nature Cell Biology paper by the Spanish cancer researcher Carlos Lopez-Otin and his US partner George Q Daley, stem cell titan and dean of Harvard Medical School, is being retracted. First author and Lopez-Otin’s student Clara Soria-Valles caused Daley even more trouble: her next groundbreaking paper was meant to be already published, but it is not even submitted and might never be.
Paediatric surgeon Paolo De Coppi claims to grow all possible internal organs in his lab at UCL. Though his career started with his association with Macchiarini, and their regenerative medicine ideas sound strangely similar, De Coppi is celebrated as a modest genius poised to save lives of uncounted children, and the funding money flows.