There have been stranger things than curative potions made from animal blood. A substance found in the blood of horseshoe crabs, for example, is used to detect bacterial contamination in pharmaceutical products. The story behind a purported cure-all drug derived from goat blood called SF-1019, however, turned out to be pure science fiction.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently cracked down on the drug's manufacturer, Immunosyn, for making false statements about the drug's purported medical benefits and stage of development. Whereas the company told investors that clinical trials of SF-1019 were underway, the FDA had in fact refused to allow Immunosyn to test the drug in humans on two separate occasions because the company failed to conduct preliminary safety studies. Immunosyn also duped investors by referencing a "contract" with the Defense Department to provide 600,000 vials of the drug - a completely false statement.
The appeal of novel treatments is understandable, especially to individuals dealing with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. This is something that Immunosyn executives counted on. In one instance, Immunosyn sold $300,000 in stock to patients at a holistic clinic, including some who were terminally ill.
Lies and greed aside, peddling fake cures is more than just a moneymaker. Whether it’s a guest on Oprah persuading a woman battling cancer that a change in diet would cure her better than chemotherapy, or a doctor and his son finding distressed parents willing to believe that injections of a testosterone suppressant drug would cure their autistic child, these unsupported notions have the potential to hurt both wallets and health. Thankfully Immunosyn’s trail of lies was caught before an untested product could do too much damage. More on the story here.