GlaxoSmithKline Acknowledges Misrepresentation in Scientific Article

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One employee is dismissed, another has resigned, and three others are put on administrative leave.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) issued a statement to say it and the scientific publication Nature Medicine recently became aware of allegations of misrepresentation of data in a research paper written by scientists at GSK’s China research center and published in Nature Medicine in 2010 (1). The published study was from preclinical, early-stage research and did not directly involve patients, according to GSK. The article examined the role of interleukin-7 in T helper type 17 cell survival and expansion in treating autoimmune disease.

“The integrity of our research is critical to our work and when these allegations came to light, we immediately contacted the journal to tell them that we were taking the charges seriously and would be investigating thoroughly,” said GSK in the statement. “Regretfully, our investigation has established that certain data in the paper were indeed misrepresented. We’ve shared our conclusion that the paper should be retracted and are in the process of asking all of the authors to sign a statement to that effect, according to Nature Medicine’s procedure.”


GSK says that one individual has been dismissed from GSK, a second has submitted his resignation, and three others have been placed on administrative leave, pending a final review. “We are committed to the highest ethical and scientific standards and regulators, physicians, and patients can have confidence in the research we carry out.” said GSK in its statement.