US opens criminal probe into pharma company over potential Alzheimer's drug fraud: report
Cassava Sciences is also facing an SEC probe
The Department of Justice has opened a criminal probe into Cassava Sciences Inc to determine whether the company falsified its Alzheimer's drug tests.
Cassava, based in Texas, is the pharmaceutical company behind the Alzheimer's drug simuflam. The company is already under investigation by the SEC regarding allegations that the company manipulated data related to the same drug, Reuters reported Wednesday.
"To be clear: Cassava Sciences vehemently denies any and all allegations of wrongdoing," Cassava's lawyer, Kate Watson Moss told Reuters. "[Cassava] has never been charged with a crime, and for good reason - Cassava Sciences has never engaged in criminal conduct."
Watson Moss went on to say the company is complying with government requests for information.
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Investigations into the company began when a pair of doctors, represented by New York lawyer Jordan Thomas, alleged that Cassava's published studies included data manipulation and photos of trials that appeared to be digitally manipulated, according to Reuters.
The two doctors are neuroscientist David Bredt and cardiologist Geoffrey Pitt. Bredt is a former employee of Johnson and Johnson, a pharmaceutical giant, and Pitt currently works as director of the Weill Cornell Medicine's Cardiovascular Research Institute.
Alzheimer's is a brain disorder that causes memory loss. It is also the most common form of early-onset dementia in the U.S.
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There is no known cure for Alzheimer's, and recent drugs approved by the FDA have often led to disappointing results.