Written by 14:01 Business

Embattled Alzheimer’s Researcher Is Charged With Fraud

A scientist whose research has been at the center of controversy over an Alzheimer’s drug candidate has been charged with fraud.

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted Hoau-Yan Wang, a professor at the City College of New York, on charges of falsifying data to obtain grants totaling roughly $16 million from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Wang’s studies underpinned research into a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease and simufilam, a drug in advanced clinical trials. Simufilam’s manufacturer, Cassava Sciences, a pharmaceutical company based in Texas, has said the drug improves cognition in Alzheimer’s patients.

Alzheimer’s disease affects roughly six million Americans — a number that is expected to double by 2050 — and promising treatments generate tremendous excitement. Cassava’s stock soared after each round of reported results from its trials.

But some scientists had publicly disparaged the drug, saying its mechanism of action and purported results were implausible. Some went further and accused the company and Dr. Wang, its scientific consultant, of manipulating results. Several journals retracted or attached statements of concern to publications by Dr. Wang and a co-author at Cassava.


Last modified: 2 July 2024