The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has initiated an inquiry against a startup incubated at the institute, after they falsely claimed that their product — a period pain relief roll-on — was FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved. The founders of the startup have been issued a showcause notice.
“With reference to the press release issued on March 8 on behalf of IIT-Delhi incubated startup Sanfe (Redroom Technology Private Limited), after the launch of their product Sanfe Period Pain Relief Roll-On, it was claimed the product was FDA approved. It has come to our notice that the claim was false. An internal inquiry is being initiated against Sanfe… Based on the inquiry report, action would be taken,” IIT said in a statement.
“Prima facie it appears that a certificate issued by Directorate of Ayush Haryana, Sector-3, Panchkula, has been misrepresented as that issued by FDA. IIT-Delhi has a zero tolerance policy for false representation of information and takes strict action in such cases,” the institute said.
Sanfe, started by IIT students Archit Agarwal and Harry Sehrawat, had launched the roll-on on March 8 — International Women’s Day. The duo had claimed that it was “medically tested and FDA approved with no side-effects”. However, on March 28, they published a notice in an English daily stating, “Since it is an Ayurvedic product, it is not governed by FDA in India. (It) comes under the Ministry of Ayush, Haryana, and so, has been approved by Ministry of Ayush…”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Agarwal said he was “not sure” of the showcause notice, adding that it was a “factual and unintentional mistake” and a “consequence of our misunderstanding that FDA is the equivalent of Directorate of Ayush for this product”.