Saturday, January 3, 2015

Two DiaPep277 Papers Retracted

I had previously reported here:
that DiaPep277 development had been canceled due to serious allegations of misconduct.
The "second shoe" has now dropped.  A key paper on DiaPep277 has been retracted.  You can read about it here:

Additionally, a second paper has also been retracted:
This paper reported on an unexpected difference in two different C-peptide measurement schemes, during the DiaPep277 testing.  Since it used the same data which now is in question, it is retracted.

The paper's authors don't have any new information, but are retracting the paper based on the already published allegations.  For me, the interesting part of the retraction, is that only the authors not employed by Andromeda Biotech took part. The authors who worked for (or still work for) Andromeda Biotech were "unavailable for comment and therefore are not part of this retraction process".

This story include a sort of "collateral damage" warning about the impact of fraud in science.  The alleged manipulation was all targeted at the first paper.  The goal of it was to make the drug look more effective than it actually was, and that was what the first paper reported.  However, the second paper represents a dangerous side effect.  Because the data was manipulated (allegedly), the second paper gave an unexpected result.  If the alleged manipulation had not been discovered, then the second paper might have caused unnecessary research to try to explain it's results.  Even more worrisome, perfectly good research that used the measurement schemes discussed in the second paper might have been cast into doubt.  Luckily, none of that will happen now.

I encourage you to read my previous blogging on DiaPep277.
Unfortunately, science that turns out to be wrong is going to be a mini-theme, as I'm putting the finishing touches on a blog posting describing another incorrect paper which was also important to type-1 diabetes research.  That blog should go out in early January.

Joshua Levy 
publicjoshualevy at gmail dot com
All the views expressed here are those of Joshua Levy, and nothing here is official JDRF or JDCA news, views, policies or opinions. My daughter has type-1 diabetes and participates in clinical trials, which might be discussed here. My blog contains a more complete non-conflict of interest statement. Thanks to everyone who helps with the blog.

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