Minister of State in the Ministry of Health Hon. Wendy Coleen Phipps has declared that there is No Stem Cell Research taking place at the JNF General Hospital or conducted by the Ministry of Health as has been suggested in the local media.
Hon. Phipps made the declaration during a Broadcast Statement on the State Owned ZIZ TV on Thursday evening which addressed the issue raised in the media regarding the Retirement of CMO Dr. Patrick Martin and his suggestion that his being sent on pre-retirement leave was related to alleged stem cell research activity taking place at the JNF Hospital and his questioning of the activity.
Hon. Phipps made it clear that there was no Stem Cell Research activity taking place at the JNF Hospital as was suggested.
“As Minister of State with Responsibility for Health I wish to state categorically that neither the Ministry of Health nor the JNF General Hospital is engaged in any stem cell project,” Minister Phipps emphatically stated .
Hon. Phipps outlined the nature of the activity taking place at the Hospital.
“Government has given approval to a research project involving the use of plasma-based infusion therapies, to a limited number of overseas patients. The project, as approved, will not extend to any residents of St. Kitts and Nevis. It is a Phase 2-staged Clinical Trial of a research initiative that has already received US-Food & Drug Administration (FDA) level one approval,” Minister Phipps stated .
The Junior Minister of Health also indicated that The private sector partners of the project include the St. Kitts Marriott (Royal Plastics Group); St. Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation – in an advisory capacity; Canadian businessman, Mr Kevin Klein; and two other investors, including a Brazilian medical group.
The statement brought to an end a week long series of interviews by the Ex Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas led Opposition SKN Labour Party suggesting that their was some measure of illegal and immoral stem cell research activitiy taking place at the island’s main general hospital .