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SANTA ANA, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Two biomedical research companies are being fined and shut down for trafficking aborted baby body parts.
Tony Rackauckas, district attorney for Orange County, California (OCSA), is announcing DV Biologics, LLC and DaVinci Biosciences, LLC — companies that have purchased body parts from abortions performed by Planned Parenthood — are being shut down.
In a December 8 press release, Rackauckas announced the companies must pay a $7.8 million settlement "through the donation of assets and biological materials to a non-profit academic and scientific teaching institution affiliated with a major U.S. medical school," and an additional $195,000 in civil penalties.
He further states:
This settlement seized all profits from DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences, which they acquired by viewing body parts as a commodity and illegally selling fetal tissues for valuable consideration. These companies will never be able to operate again in Orange County or the State of California.
He notes an investigation into the companies was launched after the Center for Medical Progress sent a complaint to the OCDA alleging the companies were illegally selling aborted baby parts.
In October 2016 the OCDA filed a complaint against DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences for "unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices in the Superior Court of the State of California in Orange County."
The timeline of violations is laid out:
In early 2009, DaVinci Biosciences expanded its business to include a revenue-driven unit by selling products derived from the cells and tissues they were already collecting, processing, storing and using for research purposes. A few months later, DV Biologics launched its first marketing campaign to start producing sales.
The defendants hired an outside marketing consultant to develop marketing materials, including a catalog posted on the company’s website in January 2010, and sent them to various sales leads. The two companies advertised prices in a range as low as $40 a vial for the “total RNA” cells from several fetal tissue sources to as high as $1,100 a vial for specific cells derived from fetal brain tissue. They priced the products in a middle range from $300 to $375 a vial for fetal lung derived products, $300 to $450 a vial for fetal kidney derived products, $500 to $700 a vial for fetal heart derived products, and $250 to $700 a vial for fetal liver derived products.
Between 2009 and 2011, the defendants nearly tripled sales revenues. The defendants unlawfully sold fetal-derived products to pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions around the world through a network of distributors. By the end of 2011, the defendants unlawfully sold fetal-derived tissues and cells worldwide to countries including Japan, China, Singapore, Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, Netherlands, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
By 2012, the defendants had over 500 products in inventory “with some 13,900 units available,” for sale – an inventory the defendants “valued at much greater than $4.4 million dollars.”
The companies also regularly offered “sales” pricing promotions, including, for example, a “25% off” summer sale and “25% off” fall promotion in 2013. Sales staff was given wide flexibility in using discounts in order to close a sale, because they all knew they still ended up “on top.”
In both 2013 and 2014, the companies grossed in excess of $400,000 in revenue, which was double the gross revenue earned in 2012. From August 2012 to October 2015, the defendants unlawfully sold approximately 500 fetal tissue “products” for valuable consideration and reached over $550,000 in gross revenues.
In July 2014, the companies discussed the pricing of prenatal renal fibroblasts via email, explaining they were currently selling the “product” for $350/vial, and suggesting they raise the price to $375 per vial, stating, “1000% gross does not seem unreasonable based on infrastructure and lack of competition.” In that email exchange, they further stated, “If the market can handle a higher price then we will go with [that] since we will be giving discounts to the distributors.” After this discussion, the 2015 list price for prenatal renal fibroblasts was set at $450 per vial.
The press release came out on the same day it was discovered the U.S. Department of Justice asked the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for unredacted copies of documents from the committee's 2016 investigation into Planned Parenthood — indicating a possible upcoming formal investigation into illegal practices by Planned Parenthood.