- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Two California biomedical firms named in an undercover video investigation of the sale of fetal tissue from abortions are shutting down after reaching a $7.8 million settlement with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

As part of the settlement, DV Biologics LLC and sister company DaVinci Biosciences LLC were ordered to cease all operations in California within 60 to 120 days and admit liability for unlawfully selling fetal tissues and cells for profit.

“This settlement seizes 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,” District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in a statement. “These companies will never be able to operate again in Orange County or the State of California.”

Prosecutors opened the investigation into the fetal tissue companies in 2015 after undercover videos released by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress showed top Planned Parenthood executives and others in the abortion industry discussing the market for the human remains from abortions.

David Daleiden, CMP project leader, praised prosecutors for shuttering the biomedical firms and called on them to investigate Planned Parenthood’s role in the operation.

“The DaVinci companies’ admission of guilt for selling baby parts from Planned Parenthood is a ringing vindication of CMP’s citizen-journalism methods and accuracy,” Mr. Daleiden said in a statement. “In light of the news that Planned Parenthood is now under federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for the sale of fetal body parts, the next step is for Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties to be held accountable under the law for their 7-year-long aiding, abetting, and profiting in DaVinci’s criminal scheme to sell baby parts for profit.”

The District Attorney’s Office said DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics had a revenue-driven business model that included an advertising campaign and marketing materials including a catalog of products available for sale.

They ranged in price from $40 for the “total RNA” cells from several fetal tissue sources to $1,100 for a vial of cells derived from fetal brains.

Products derived from fetal lungs ranged in price from $300 to $375, fetal kidney-derived products from $300 to $450, fetal heart-derived products from $500 to $750, and fetal liver-derived products from $250 to $700.

The companies tripled their sales revenue between 2009 and 2011, and by 2012 they had more than 500 products in inventory “with some 13,900 units available” for sale. They grossed more than $400,000 in revenue in 2013 and 2014, and more than $550,000 in 2015.

The biomedical firms unlawfully sold products derived from fetal tissue and cells to buyers in Japan, China, Singapore, Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The District Attorney’s Office uncovered company emails discussing raising the price of prenatal renal fibroblasts from $350 to $375 per vial, stating “1000% gross does not seem unreasonable based on infrastructure and lack of competition.”

“If the market can handle a higher price then we will go with [that] since we will be giving discounts to the distributors,” the email exchange continued.

By 2015, the list price for prenatal renal fibroblasts was sets at $450.

Last month, the FBI requested unredacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s probe into Planned Parenthood’s practice of transferring fetal tissue from abortions to biomedical firms like DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics.

Planned Parenthood has denied that it profited off of the human remains from abortions and said any costs associated with their transfer were to recoup storage and other costs.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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