Authors retract abstract following misconduct by diabetes biotech

1Earlier this year, authors retracted a meeting abstract about a diabetes drug, following the revelation that the biotech that funded the trial committed misconduct.

The retraction was initiated by corresponding author Itamar Raz, at Hadassah Medical Center in Israel. The journal didn’t receive a response from any co-authors who were affiliated with the biotech company, Andromeda, so they were not included in the retraction process.

A few months after Hyperion Therapeutics acquired Andromeda’s diabetes drug DiaPep277, Hyperion announced it had evidence that some employees of Andromeda had “engaged in serious misconduct,” such as using un-blinded data and manipulating the analyses. Two relevant studies on the drug, designed to block the immune response that leads to type 1 diabetes, were retracted last year.

Here’s the retraction note for the abstract “Abstracts of the 50th Annual Meeting of the EASD, Vienna 2014. ‘Evaluation of DiaPep277® treatment in type 1 diabetes by integrated analysis,’” published in the May issue of the journal:

On behalf of the authors identified below, Itamar Raz, the corresponding author, has formally requested to retract Abstract 453, cited above, which was published in Diabetologia Supplement 1, September 2014—the Abstract Volume of 2014 EASD Annual meeting.

The abstract reports on the DIA-AID 1 trial, which examined the safety and efficacy of DiaPep277 to treat type 1 diabetes. The DIA-AID 1 trial was funded by Andromeda Biotech, Ltd.

On 8 September 2014, Hyperion Therapeutics, Inc., which acquired Andromeda Biotech in June 2014, announced that it had chosen to terminate the DiaPep277 programme. As stated in the press release issued by Hyperion Therapeutics, ‘The company has uncovered evidence that certain employees of Andromeda Biotech, Ltd … engaged in serious misconduct, including collusion with a third-party biostatistics firm in Israel to improperly receive un-blinded DIA-AID 1 trial data and to use such data in order to manipulate the analyses to obtain a favorable result’.

The corresponding author writes:

‘In view of the public statements by Hyperion Therapeutics regarding alleged scientific misconduct, we, the authors of this statement, are retracting the above-cited abstract. We wish to emphasize that we were not involved in the assembly of the raw data or the alleged misconduct.

‘The following authors support the decision to retract the article: Itamar Raz, Paolo Pozzilli, Thomas Linn and Francois Bonnici.’

Diabetologia was only able to contact four of the six co-authors who are/were Andromeda Biotech employees—Dana Elias, Merana Tamir, Rachel Eren and Shlomo Dagan. None of these co-authors responded to emails and therefore none of the Andromeda Biotech employees were part of this retraction process.

The abstract has not been cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. We couldn’t find the abstract posted online.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen 

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One thought on “Authors retract abstract following misconduct by diabetes biotech”

  1. Whole paper retracted here:
    Diabetes Care 2014 May; 37(5): 1384-1391.
    Evaluation of Long-Term Treatment Effect in a Type 1 Diabetes Intervention Trial: Differences After Stimulation With Glucagon or a Mixed Meal

    Paolo Pozzilli1,2, Itamar Raz3⇑, Dana Peled4, Dana Elias4, Ann Avron4, Merana Tamir4, Rachel Eren4, Shlomo Dagan4 and Irun R. Cohen5

    Author Affiliations
    1Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy
    2Center of Diabetes, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom
    3Diabetes Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel
    4Andromeda Biotech Ltd., Yavne, Israel
    5Department of Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

    2015 retraction notice.

    Senior author of this retraction notice has several papers commented on at Pubpeer.

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