Enlarge (credit: Getty | Tim Flach)
Ars has reported before about the predatory ways of direct-to-consumer clinics touting unproven and sometimes dangerous stem cell therapies.

As they bubble up around the country, their slimy ads targeting desperate patient populations may seem pretty low.

But a stem cell company in Florida may have them beat in the despicable category: It posed as a legitimate research clinic conducting a trial listed on the government registry, clinicaltrials.gov.
The result: Three women permanently lost their vision after seeing the listing and signing up—and paying thousands of dollars, of course.
In a report published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors and researchers report in detail the medical aftermath for the three patients, who were all seeking treatment for age-related macular degeneration.

This is a common disease that diminishes eyesight slowly over time and does not, by itself, lead to blindness.

Two of the patients have already sued the company behind the clinic, US Stem Cell (previously known as Bioheart, Inc.).

The suit was settled and the patients signed nondisclosure agreements.
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