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Author Topic: Corporate Profits over Patient in the Health Care Field  (Read 2184 times)

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AGelbert

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Agelbert NOTE: The following comment on a story about a scientist chasing funding is better than the story  ;D.

The (scientifically well referenced ) comment sheds much needed light on how  scientists have become corrupt, money chasing and mendacious, thanks to the corporate destruction of good science in the service of profit over patient (AND PLANET TOO!).


Quote
This story leaves out some important context about its protagonist, David Sinclair.

Sinclair was the chief person behind the series of high-profile papers in the 2000s linking red wine, resveratrol, sirtuins and aging. During this period, Sinclair's work was repeatedly featured in the New York Times and he became a minor scientific celebrity. He founded a company, Sirtris, with the goal of making sirtuin activators to treat aging related diseases, and Sirtris was purchased by GSK in 2007 for the staggering sum of $720 million. This was despite the fact that the company had never shown that any of its compounds had activity in humans.

Shortly after the Sirtris sale, it began to emerge that the whole red wine/resveratrol/aging story was not true.

It turned out that resveratrol and the compounds discovered by Sirtris were not sirtuin activators, as claimed by Sinclair in a series of Nature papers. Rather, the activity of the compounds was an artifact resulting from a poorly controlled biochemical essay. 

Likewise, evidence emerged that sirtuins were not nearly as important for aging as Sinclair and others had claimed, and that several of the key biological results making this link, published by Sinclair and others in Science and Nature, were again not reproducible due to sloppy experimental design.

Recently, Sirtris was shut down by GSK, and the consensus in the pharmaceutical industry is that their $720M Sirtris investment led to nothing of value. I have copied below a series of papers and other links that go into greater detail regarding this story.

This information provides a different context for the funding saga of David Sinclair recounted above. It is possible that Sinclair found it difficult to obtain NIH funding because his much-hyped work had been thoroughly discredited, such that NIH study sections decided (rightly) that it would be a mistake to give him any more money.

In this context, the fact that Sinclair has nonetheless been able to find private backers so that he can again maintain a 22 person lab is remarkable.

It suggests that there is a profound failure in the mechanisms by which we ensure accountability in academic science.
By writing a story that fails to mention any of this, and in fact portrays Sinclair as the hero, the author Bob Grant is contributing to the problem.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v477/n7365/full/nature10296.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19843076

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20061378

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21428798

http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2013/03/12/sirtis_gets_shut_down_in_cambridge.php

http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2010/01/12/the_sirtris_compounds_worthless_really.php

http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2009/11/05/what_exactly_does_resveratrol_do.php



http://www.the-scientist.com//?articles.view/articleNo/42799/title/Follow-the-Funding/

As you can see, GREED is destroying the scientific method along with the environment.

Quote

"The core responsibility assigned to governments in democracies is the public welfare, protecting the human birthright to basic needs: clean air, water, land, and a place to live, under equitable rules of access to all common property resources.

It is astonishing to discover that major political efforts in democracies can be turned to undermining the core purpose of government, destroying the factual basis for fair and effective protection of essential common property resources of all to feed the financial interests of a few. These efforts, limiting scientific research on environment, denying the validity of settled facts and natural laws, are a shameful dance, far below acceptable or reputable political behavior.

It can be treated not as a reasoned alternative, but scorned for what it is – simple thievery." —George M. Woodwell, Woods Hole Research Center founder
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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