Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘tommy andersson retractions’ Category

Five years after a retraction, company’s stock is up more than 500%

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wntloggawntresearchwebny1Is ethical behavior good for business?

Five years ago this month, Swedish pharmaceutical company WntResearch immediately notified shareholders when authors retracted a 2009 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) paper on a potential cancer therapy that was key to the company’s business.

At the time, the company’s decision to disclose the retraction hurt its finances, as WntResearch delayed its planned initial public offering for three weeks. It also offered investors and shareholders the opportunity to withdraw their shares of WntResearch stock.

But, aside from one of the paper’s co-authors, “No one did that,” Nils Brünner, WntResearch’s CEO, told us. Since the company’s IPO on December 17, 2010, its stock price has increased from Read the rest of this entry »

Author who took responsibility for errors in retracted PNAS paper cites it…in error

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via Wikimedia

One of the issues we’ve touched on at Retraction Watch is what happens once papers are retracted. A few studies have found that other authors continue to cite those studies anyway, without noting their withdrawal from the literature. A more recent paper found that retractions are linked to a dramatic decline in citations (see last half of post). And we’ve reported on one case in which the authors of a retracted study decided not to cite it at all when they republished their findings elsewhere.

But it seems unusual for an author to cite his or her own retracted work without noting it had been retracted. That’s what happened in a recently published PLoS ONE paper, “Loss of Secreted Frizzled-Related Protein 4 Correlates with an Aggressive Phenotype and Predicts Poor Outcome in Ovarian Cancer Patients.” The second to last paragraph of that paper ends: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 6th, 2012 at 9:30 am

The $240,000 retraction: Scientist responsible gives back company shares

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In December, we reported on how a Swedish company that was about to go public dealt with a retraction of a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that formed some of the basis of their work. The company, Wnt Research, was scheduled to go public on November 26, 2010, but after the retraction appeared on November 11, they postponed the initial public offering (IPO), and let every investor that had expressed an interest know about the retraction.

We thought the company’s moves demonstrated a remarkable transparency. Now we learn that the scientist responsible for the errors that led to the retraction has given back the shares which he or she was given when the company was founded. The company announced the news in a press release last week: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 29th, 2011 at 9:30 am

Update: After unexplained delay, Cell Cycle retracts paper related to work that formed the basis of anti-cancer company

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In December, we reported on the retraction of a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on a potential treatment for breast cancer. We later found out that the retracted research was part of the basis of a company that had an initial public offering a few weeks later. How the company dealt with the news of the retraction made for an interesting follow-up, and speaks well of the principles of the principals.

Here’s another follow-up. The retraction notice has now appeared of a related review in Cell Cycle that we reported would be withdrawn. Here’s the text: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 22nd, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Wnt Research: How a retraction delayed an IPO, shrunk investment — but should build public trust

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It’s easy to focus on the downstream scientific effects of retractions. But sometimes they have financial implications, too.

Two weeks ago, we covered the retraction of a PNAS paper on a potential breast cancer treatment, one that would make tumors that didn’t respond to tamoxifen respond to the drug. We learned earlier this week from a Retraction Watch commenter that Wnt Research, a company based on the breast cancer finding and other work, was about to go public.

In fact, their initial public offering (IPO) happened today, and you can follow the price of their stock — listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange as WNT — here. But what we learned when we looked into the IPO was that it was originally scheduled for late November, and was delayed because of the retraction.

Tommy Andersson, one of the researchers on the now-retracted paper and Wnt Research’s chief scientific officer, told Retraction Watch that the company had initially planned on going public on November 26. They had written a memorandum describing the company’s work to date, and its plans, and the public was given a chance to invest before shares hit the Stockholm exchange. That memorandum included a mention of the PNAS paper, as follows (translated from Swedish): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 17th, 2010 at 11:50 am

PNAS paper on potential breast cancer treatment retracted

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The authors of a 2009 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) have retracted the paper, which found a particular molecule could make breast tumors respond to a drug to which they’re not normally susceptible.

The paper — which has been cited five times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge — was the subject of a fair amount of press coverage, although the molecule is not yet in clinical trials. In a Reuters story, lead author Caroline Ford said of the alleged tamoxifen-sensitizing compound, Foxy-5:

“It flips the switch basically,” Ford said in a telephone interview. “It makes breast cancer cells respond to tamoxifen in women who cannot be treated with the drug,” she added. “If you don’t have that molecule you can’t get tamoxifen because there is no target.”

According to the retraction notice, signed by all three of the study’s authors: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 3rd, 2010 at 9:30 am