Cassava Sciences Says Accusations Against Company, Employees Have No Legitimate Basis

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By Adriano Marchese

Cassava Sciences said that City University of New York didn’t have a legitimate basis for its accusations of “long-standing and egregious misconduct” in how the biotech company managed data and kept records.

Late Thursday, the publication Science reported that an investigation accused Hoau-Yan Wang, a neuroscientist and CUNY faculty member who often collaborated with Cassava Sciences, of “scientific misconduct” across 20 research papers that raised serious questions about his research.

The stock plummeted on the news and continued trading over 28% lower in pre-market trading on Friday at $12.67.

Cassava, an Austin, Texas-based clinical-stage biotechnology company, is working to advance simufilam, an experimental Alzheimer’s drug.

It responded late on Thursday saying that the CUNY investigation report was leaked to the press and that Cassava played no role in that investigation. It added that since the university refused offers of assistance from Cassava, Cassava said the university doesn’t have a legitimate basis to make accusations against the company or its employees.

The report in Science said the investigation also found that Lindsay Burns, a senior vice president for neuroscience at Cassava and a co-author on some of the research, “bears primary or partial responsibility for some of the possible misconduct or scientific errors.”

“CUNY’s report makes no findings of data manipulation. Rather, the “egregious misconduct” cited in the report relates exclusively to internal record-keeping failures at CUNY,” Cassava said.

Cassava Chief Executive Remi Barbier said Thursday that the company remains confident in the underlying science for its lead candidate, simufilam, and that its phase 3 clinical program will continue.

Write to Adriano Marchese at [email protected]

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