A U.S. drug company backed by President Trump supporter Peter Thiel secretly conducted human trials for a herpes vaccine on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts — and the local government is now investigating, according to a report.
Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, is one of several big-name investors who have backed the offshore testing of the experimental herpes inoculation by the company Rational Vaccines, The Daily Beast reported.
A former Hollywood filmmaker, who has not been identified publicly, was also a financial backer — and has claimed that the vaccine was successful during clinical trials, The Daily Beast reported.
The investment group kicked in at least $7 million for the research, and hoped to run tests in Mexico and Australia, according to the report.
The trials were reportedly performed in St. Kitts from April to August 2016 — without approval of the US Food and Drug Administration or the oversight of an institutional review board, also known as IRB — on a group of 20 people, mostly Americans.
St. Kitts officials told The Daily Beast the tests were conducted without government permission.