The National Natural Science Foundation of China said they have launched an investigation, after rumors circulated online about alleged thesis fraud by a main developer of China's new domestic formula to cure Alzheimer's disease (AD).
A letter from Rao Yi, principal of the Capital Medical University, was published Friday on the WeChat public account of Dingxiangyuan, an influential and popular online medical forum in China, in which Rao claimed that Geng Meiyu, the lead developer of the drug GV971 for Alzheimer's disease, was engaged in research paper fraud related to the drug.
The National Medical Products Administration in China approved GV971 to treat mild to moderate AD and improve cognitive conditions earlier in November. GV971 is the first such drug approved globally in 17 years.
Rao said in the letter that "it is impossible that the paper is not faked," without providing evidence.
However, China News Week reported late Friday that Rao said the letter "was only a draft, and not published," without giving further details.
Dingxiangyuan also deleted the widely shared post late Friday.
The Beijing News reported that the National Natural Science Foundation of China is investigating into the matter.
It's the first novel drug approved for treating AD patients since 2003, media reported. Forest Labs' Namenda was approved in the US that year.