US doctor accused of giving Charlie Gard's family 'false hope' denies financial link to new treatment

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The American doctor accused of giving Charlie Gard‘s family ‘false hope’ has denied having any financial interest in the experimental treatment he was offering.

Dr Michio Hirano travelled to London last week to examine the youngster and discuss the case with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) doctors.

The professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Centre, in New York, had been seen as terminally ill Charlie’s only hope with his experimental nucleoside treatment, NBT.

But on Monday, the boy’s mother Connie Yates and father Chris Gard abandoned their five-month battle to persuade a judge to let him travel to America for the treatment.

In his first public statement since their decision, Dr Hirano said: “I became involved in Charlie’s case when I was contacted by his parents, and I subsequently agreed to speak with his doctors to discuss whether an experimental therapy being developed in my lab could provide meaningful clinical improvement in Charlie’s condition.

“As I disclosed in court on July 13, I have relinquished and have no financial interest in the treatment being developed for Charlie’s condition.

“Unfortunately, a MRI scan of Charlie’s muscle tissue conducted in the past week has revealed that it is very unlikely that he would benefit from this treatment.”

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Charlie’s parents ended their legal battle on Monday (PA)

His comment comes one day after GOSH told a court hearing it was disappointed to find the professor had some financial interest in the treatment suggested for Charlie.

In its positioning statement, the hospital submitted that Dr Hirano contacted it in December last year about NBT (nucleoside treatment) and at the beginning of this month said he had new information.

It expressed concerns that his July 13 evidence to court offered false hope because at this time he had not examined Charlie, read his latest medical records, or the opinions of experts who had seen him.

The statement added: “Further, GOSH was concerned to hear the professor state, for the first time, whilst in the witness box, that he retains a financial interest in some of the NBT compounds he proposed prescribing for Charlie.

“Devastatingly, the information obtained since 13 July gives no cause for optimism.

“Rather, it confirms that whilst NBT may well assist others in the future, it cannot and could not have assisted Charlie.”


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