Glaxo Fires Exec For Faked Data in Scientific Paper

Glaxo Fires Exec For Faked Data in Scientific Paper

June 12th, 2013 // 1:05 pm @

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After a long internal investigation, GlaxoSmithKline determined that a scientific research paper that was published in Nature Medicine had a considerable amount of faked data. It has now fired Jingwu Zang, who was one of the authors of the study, and who also was a VP and head of R&D in Shanghai. His responsibilities have been given to other people at that site.

GSK also put three other workers on administrative leave as there is a final review process still going on of the incident, and another employee involved in the scandal has resigned. GSK is now in the process of asking all employees involved in the paper to acknowledge their role in the faked data scandal.

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The paper appeared in the journal in 2010, and it looked at the role of a protein known as Interkeukin 7 receptor in the treatment of autoimmune disease. The internal probe became public in late May after several blogs in China noted the growing scandal.

A spokeswoman for GSK wrote this week that the firm had established that some data in the paper were faked. GSK shared this conclusion with the journal and told them the paper should be retracted. The spokeswoman admitted that the high ethical and scientific standards of GSK were compromised in the scandal.

Zang also was issued a warning letter by FDA back in 2009 for the administration of experimental treatments to patients without an IND.

This is the second time in the last month that a top pharmaceutical company had to do an internal probe about published studies that involved employees. Novartis recently conceded that two of its employees in Japan had been involved in clinical studies for the Diovan heart drug. The investigators on such studies are supposed to be independent.

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