Universities accused of unethical drug trials reporting

Universities have been accused of undertaking widespread unethical drug trials after The Daily Telegraph revealed Oxford researchers allowed a vaccine to be tested on babies despite doubts about its effectiveness, writes Henry Bodkin for The Telegraph.

An analysis by the British Medical Journal cited a “systematic failure” to faithfully report the results of animal tests in order to secure funding and permission for human trials. The alleged practice potentially harms patients and risks stalling scientific progress by putting off investors, the journal said.

The investigation focuses on senior scientists at Oxford University who tested a candidate tuberculosis booster vaccine on monkeys at the Porton Down government laboratory in Wiltshire in 2006 ahead of a trial involving nearly 2,800 South African babies. The animals inoculated with the drug, MVA85A, died at roughly the same rate as those exposed to TB without it; however, this was not disclosed until after funding and permission for the wider infant clinical trial had been sought. Instead, the Oxford team reported that MVA85A had been successful in animal trials overall.
Full report on The Telegraph site