Three years ago, a reporter asked Kadmon Corporation founder Samuel Waksal his opinion on embattled diagnostic start-up Theranos. Recalling the moment on Friday during a "Squawk Box" interview, Waksal said he responded candidly.
"It's a scam," he told the reporter, citing Theranos' refusal to disclose information about its core Edison technology.
In response, the reporter told him he didn't want to believe that was true because Theranos — a potentially transformative start-up led by a woman who dropped out of college — had such a great story.
Waksal told CNBC that thinking was emblematic of the way the media treated Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who claimed her company could conduct a "full range" of medical tests with just a few drops of blood, in the process creating savings for patients and health-care operators alike.
Now, Theranos faces a criminal investigation into whether it misled investors, and inquiries from multiple federal agencies. It has voided two years' worth of results from its Edison machines, and this week, Walgreens ended its relationship with Theranos.