Alzheimer's drug researcher accused of 'egregious misconduct'

Clinical trials for simufilam, an Alzheimer's drug made by Cassava Sciences, will continue even after one of its lead researchers has been accused of "long-standing and egregious misconduct in data management and record keeping," The New York Times reported Oct. 14.

Questions were raised about the results of the research and the possibility of manipulated results by both Hoau-Yan Wang, PhD, a neuroscience professor at the City College of New York, and Lindsay Burns, PhD, Cassava Sciences' chief scientist. This led to a formal investigation into the work by a committee from the City University of New York. 

The committee's report confirmed errors in the research and accused Dr. Wang of misconduct. It was published publicly in Science Oct. 12.

"It appears likely that no primary data and no research notebooks pertaining to the 31 allegations exist. It is for this reason that it was not possible for this committee to objectively determine how figures were created from the experiments described in the publications cited in the allegations," the 50-page committee report reads. "Dr. Wang has therefore failed to provide the data and research records necessary for the committee to directly address the concerns surrounding the published work under identified in the allegations. Thus, the integrity of Dr. Wang's work remains highly questionable."

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