Prominent Stanford geneticist Stan Cohen has paid $29.2 million in damages after losing a lengthy court battle. Cohen was found to have intentionally misled investors into a biotechnology company he founded in 2016 and also admitted to providing inaccurate testimony to the court.
Cohen, a professor in the School of Medicine, was the first geneticist to transplant genes from one living organism to another. The award-winning scientist claimed to have found a cure for the neurodegenerative and ultimately fatal Huntington’s disease. He also claimed the treatment he’d discovered had already been approved by the FDA for use in unrelated treatments. Chris Alafi, a longtime family friend of Cohen and biotech investor, believed him, and invested $20 million into the company Cohen formed to capitalize on the discovery.
What Cohen failed to tell Alafi, according to a June 25 opinion issued by the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara, was that the drug had been withdrawn by the FDA in 1976 for its “potentially deadly side effects” and placed on the “DO NOT COMPOUND” list after causing the loss of limbs and death.
Source: Stanford professor pays $29M in fraud case | The Stanford Daily