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Perry pushed bill that could benefit doctor's firm at same time he received 'unproven' treatment

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who recently underwent an experimental injection of his own adult stem cells to relieve back pain, pushed a bill through the Legislature in June that paves the way for a company co-owned by his doctor to become the first state-approved "bank" to store and cultivate such cells for medical treatment, according to internal emails and corporate records obtained by NBC News.

The measure, which was adopted without any public hearings, could prove a financial bonanza for Celltex Therapeutics Corp. -- a Houston company headed by Stanley Jones, the surgeon who injected the cells into Perry, and David G. Eller, the former chairman of the board of Texas A&M University and a longtime political donor to Perry who says he has served as a "strategic" adviser for his presidential run, according to industry officials and scientific researchers who have closely followed the issue.

Perry's role in pushing the stem cell bank bill, at the same time he was receiving injections of stem cells, illustrates two aspects of his record that are drawing increasing attention as he pursues the presidency: his enthusiasm for ideas that are sometimes outside the scientific mainstream and what critics view as his willingness to use the levers of state government to benefit friends and political benefactors.