Brother scientists no longer with Novartis after alleged data manipulation

By Kate Gibson

/ MoneyWatch

The sibling scientists who ran Novartis' gene therapy unit, which allegedly offered inaccurate data in getting the world's priciest drug approved, are no longer working for the Swiss drugmaker.

Brian Kaspar and Allan Kaspar, brothers who held the titles of chief scientific officer and head of research at Novartis subsidiary AveXis, respectively, "have not been involved in any operations at AveXis since early May 2019 and are no longer with the company," Novartis said Wednesday in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

The brothers became employees of Novartis after the company last year bought AveXis for $8.7 billion.

Trending News

Novartis would not confirm nor deny reports that CEO Vasant Narasimhan fired the pair shortly after learning about the allegations of data manipulation involving Zolgensma. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May, the treatment is for children with a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy and costs a staggering $2.1 million.

The FDA earlier this month said it approved Zolgensma on May 24, only to learn a month later of a "data manipulation issue that impacts the accuracy of certain data from product testing performed in animals."

Patients struggle to afford medication as costs rise

AveXis, the maker of Zolgensma, discovered the data was faulty before its approval, but waited until after it had gotten federal clearance to inform the FDA, the agency said. The FDA said it expects Zolgensma to remain on the market.

Novartis did not deny the allegations, but defended its product and handling of the situation overall.

"We maintain that the totality of the evidence demonstrating the product's effectiveness and its safety profile continue to provide compelling evidence supporting an overall favorable benefit-risk profile," the company said in a statement after the FDA action. "At no time during the investigation did the findings indicate issues with product safety, efficacy or quality."

The company is working with the FDA to update its application and "address any quality gaps," Novartis added.

First published on August 14, 2019 / 5:17 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

Multiple officers shot in situation in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Police Sergeant Eric Gripp tweeted around 5 p.m. that the situation was still "active" and advised people to avoid the area

0M ago philadelphia-shooting-2019-08-14.jpg novartis

Brother scientists no longer at Novartis after drug scandal

Brian Kaspar and Allan Kaspar have left the drugmaker after the FDA said the company could face criminal penalties

13M ago novartis US-ECONOMY-NYSE

Dow down 800 points after bond markets flash recession warning

Major stock indexes tumble around 3% after yields on Treasury bonds inverted — a signal the U.S. economy is slowing

updated 34M ago US-ECONOMY-NYSE El Paso mass shooting candlelight vigil

Watch: El Paso memorial service mourns mass shooting victims

Tonight's service will be a "gathering for our region to unite in support of those injured and mourn those who have lost their lives" — CBS News will live-stream the event at 9 p.m. ET

45M ago El Paso mass shooting candlelight vigil Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians

MLB player becomes American citizen years after escaping Cuba

Because of America's relationship with Cuba, Puig had to be smuggled into the country through Mexico

51M ago Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians Increase Police Security In Front Of Trump Tower Following Protest In New York

Petition aims to rename Trump Tower street for Obama

If successful, Trump Tower's new address would be: "725 President Barack H. Obama Avenue, New York, NY 10022"

1H ago Increase Police Security In Front Of Trump Tower Following Protest In New York President Trump And Other Notable Leaders Address Annual NRA Meeting

Second Amendment advocates warn Trump over "red flag" laws

"If he basically tries to dismantle the Second Amendment community, he's going to be a one-termer. I firmly believe that," one activist said

1H ago President Trump And Other Notable Leaders Address Annual NRA Meeting Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams says she's open to being a VP candidate

After mulling a bid, Abrams will not be running for president

4H ago Stacey Abrams Election 2018 Mississippi

CBS News Eye on Trends: The latest from the CBS News Election & Survey Unit

A recap of latest polls and data-driven studies from the CBS News Election & Survey Unit

4H ago Election 2018 Mississippi cbsnews-intelligence-matters-podcast-horizontal-620x350.jpg

Transcript: Juan Cruz on "Intelligence Matters"

This week, on "Intelligence Matters," Michael Morell talks with Cruz, a former special assistant to the president and senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, about the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis in Venezuela

5H ago cbsnews-intelligence-matters-podcast-horizontal-620x350.jpg Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians

MLB player becomes American citizen years after escaping Cuba

Because of America's relationship with Cuba, Puig had to be smuggled into the country through Mexico

51M ago Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians iran-bandar-abbas-market.jpg

Iranians hit hard by U.S. sanctions, and worried about war

CBS News meets Iranians in the city of Bandar Abbas, right on the tumultuous Strait of Hormuz, where tensions between their country and the U.S. are sky-high

2H ago iran-bandar-abbas-market.jpg Rotem Amitai is seen in an undated photo provided by her family.

Flight attendant diagnosed with measles after NY flight has died

El Al flight attendant Rotem Amitai was diagnosed with measles after flying from New York to Israel

1H ago Rotem Amitai is seen in an undated photo provided by her family. prince-andrew-virginia-giuffre-ghislaine-maxwell.jpg

Who is Prince Andrew, the U.K. royal linked to the Epstein case?

Scandals surrounding the royal's friendship with the billionaire sex offender who was found dead in his New York jail cell have long made headlines

3H ago prince-andrew-virginia-giuffre-ghislaine-maxwell.jpg 0814-ctm-babyrhino-blackstone-1911720-640x360.jpg

The fight to save the northern white rhino

The last remaining members of the species are a mother and daughter that live under 24-hour armed guard in Kenya – but two rhinos thousands of miles away could offer hope

6H ago 0814-ctm-babyrhino-blackstone-1911720-640x360.jpg Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians

MLB player becomes American citizen years after escaping Cuba

Because of America's relationship with Cuba, Puig had to be smuggled into the country through Mexico

51M ago Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley

Reality TV stars plead not guilty to tax evasion charges

Todd Chrisley posted on Instagram on Monday a denial of any wrongdoing and alleged a former employee was "stealing from us big time"

1H ago Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley taylorswift-uplift-1911917-640x360.jpg

Taylor Swift sends fan $6,000 for tuition

Taylor Swift just surprised a fan from Canada by sending her more than $6,000 for tuition and rent after reading about her family struggles in a Tumblr post.

3H ago 01:06 taylorswift-uplift-1911917-640x360.jpg 0814-ctm-jadapinkettsmith-1911716-640x360.jpg

Jada Pinkett Smith speaks to 20-year-old self

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is the creator of “Red Table Talk,” a show that streams on Facebook Watch. On “Red Table Talk,” Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow, and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris have raw conversations on provocative issues from marriage to mental health. She’ll also soon return to the big screen in the action movie “Angel has Fallen,” alongside Gerard Butler. Pinkett Smith joined “CBS This Morning” Wednesday to discuss those projects and more.

7H ago 06:55 0814-ctm-jadapinkettsmith-1911716-640x360.jpg A$AP Rocky

A$AP Rocky convicted of assault in Sweden

But the American rapper has been given only a "conditional sentence," and that means no more jail time and no fine

updated 32M ago A$AP Rocky FRANCE-US-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY

Facebook contractors listened to Messenger chats

Facebook said it's ended the practice of having contractors listen to and transcribe the recordings

2H ago FRANCE-US-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY untitled-collage-1.jpg

Teen tweets from LG smart fridge, goes viral

15-year-old Dorothy figured out how to tweet from a Nintendo DS, a Wii and her fridge

5H ago untitled-collage-1.jpg rtx2z6n2.jpg

Apple lifted by delay in U.S. tariffs on China

With the tech company set to roll out its latest iPhones in September, higher levies on Chinese imports would hurt

Aug 13 rtx2z6n2.jpg Amazon Echo

Teens forced to work overtime to make Amazon devices: report

Amazon said it's investigating a report that Foxconn allegedly made Chinese teens to work overtime, violating laws

Aug 12 Amazon Echo hearing-aid-device-promo.jpg

Hearing aids: You ain't heard nothing yet

Only about 20% of adults with hearing loss actually use hearing aids, but advances in technology and a new law may drive down prices – and be music to consumers' ears

Aug 11 hearing-aid-device-promo.jpg 0814-ctm-babyrhino-blackstone-1911720-640x360.jpg

The fight to save the northern white rhino

The last remaining members of the species are a mother and daughter that live under 24-hour armed guard in Kenya – but two rhinos thousands of miles away could offer hope

6H ago 0814-ctm-babyrhino-blackstone-1911720-640x360.jpg The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way.

Our galaxy's black hole suddenly flashed a bright light

Scientists called the flashes "unprecedented"

2H ago The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way. US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid

How to watch the Perseid meteor shower peak Monday night

Anyone trying to watch the Perseid meteor shower should try to stay away from bright city lights

Aug 12 US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid coffee-cup-promo.jpg

Almanac: Instant coffee

On August 11, 1903, Japanese-American chemist Satori Kato received a U.S. patent for his method of making instant coffee in tablet form

Aug 11 coffee-cup-promo.jpg ap16153622242521.jpg

Climate change and overfishing increasing mercury levels in fish

Climate change "is not just about what the weather is like in 10 years," said researcher Amina Schartup. "It's also about what's on your plate in the next five."

Aug 10 ap16153622242521.jpg novartis

Brother scientists no longer at Novartis after drug scandal

Brian Kaspar and Allan Kaspar have left the drugmaker after the FDA said the company could face criminal penalties

13M ago novartis 0814-ctm-dementia-narula.jpg

Tips for lowering blood pressure, which may cut dementia risk

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found a link between high blood pressure and dementia

7H ago 0814-ctm-dementia-narula.jpg Teens vaping

New warnings of link between lung disease in teens and e-cigarettes

Minnesota became the third state where serious injuries linked to e-cigarettes were reported in the last month

9H ago Teens vaping baby-spinach-dole-recall.png

Dole recalls baby spinach after test finds salmonella

Packaged spinach leaves recalled in 10 states after bacteria found in a sample tested by Michigan health officials

20H ago baby-spinach-dole-recall.png US-INDUSTRY-TOBACCO-HEALTH-TEENS

Juul accused of marketing to teens in new lawsuit

Juul issued a statement saying the company has "never marketed to youth and do not want non-nicotine users, especially youth, to ever try our product"

23H ago US-INDUSTRY-TOBACCO-HEALTH-TEENS novartis

Brother scientists no longer at Novartis after drug scandal

Brian Kaspar and Allan Kaspar have left the drugmaker after the FDA said the company could face criminal penalties

13M ago novartis US-ECONOMY-NYSE

Dow down 800 points after bond markets flash recession warning

Major stock indexes tumble around 3% after yields on Treasury bonds inverted — a signal the U.S. economy is slowing

updated 34M ago US-ECONOMY-NYSE FRANCE-US-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY

Facebook contractors listened to Messenger chats

Facebook said it's ended the practice of having contractors listen to and transcribe the recordings

2H ago FRANCE-US-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY A job resource flier is seen on the community resources wall at the New York State Department of Labor in New York

Barstool Sports founder threatens workers who discuss union

New York State Department of Labor warned Portnoy that retaliating against workers for union activities is illegal

3H ago A job resource flier is seen on the community resources wall at the New York State Department of Labor in New York screen-shot-2019-08-13-at-1-25-07-pm.png

A calligrapher embraces technology to grow business

After falling haphazardly into the art of calligraphy, she succeeds by embracing her unique style and the latest tech

5H ago screen-shot-2019-08-13-at-1-25-07-pm.png philadelphia-shooting-2019-08-14.jpg

Multiple officers shot in situation in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Police Sergeant Eric Gripp tweeted around 5 p.m. that the situation was still "active" and advised people to avoid the area

0M ago philadelphia-shooting-2019-08-14.jpg El Paso mass shooting candlelight vigil

Watch: El Paso memorial service mourns mass shooting victims

Tonight's service will be a "gathering for our region to unite in support of those injured and mourn those who have lost their lives" — CBS News will live-stream the event at 9 p.m. ET

45M ago El Paso mass shooting candlelight vigil Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley

Reality TV stars plead not guilty to tax evasion charges

Todd Chrisley posted on Instagram on Monday a denial of any wrongdoing and alleged a former employee was "stealing from us big time"

1H ago Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley jeffrey-epstein-03.png

Corrections officers may have falsified reports they checked on Epstein

Epstein was taken off suicide watch about one week after an apparent attempt to hang himself

3H ago jeffrey-epstein-03.png ghislaine-maxwell-181355204.jpg

Epstein accuser details alleged tactics to lure her: "The trap was set"

Jennifer Araoz, who claims Epstein raped her when she was 14, sues Epstein's former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and three unnamed members of his staff

4H ago ghislaine-maxwell-181355204.jpg The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way.

Our galaxy's black hole suddenly flashed a bright light

Scientists called the flashes "unprecedented"

2H ago The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way. US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid

How to watch the Perseid meteor shower peak Monday night

Anyone trying to watch the Perseid meteor shower should try to stay away from bright city lights

Aug 12 US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid ebbdvtjx4aacxou.jpg

A meteor large enough to see from Earth just hit Jupiter

The rare moment was captured with nothing more than a backyard telescope in Texas

Aug 9 ebbdvtjx4aacxou.jpg cbsn-fusion-saturn-rings-disappearing-nasa-2019-08-06-thumbnail-1906783-640x360.jpg

Saturn's rings are disappearing

NASA's Cassini spacecraft ended its historic exploration of Saturn in 2017 and, slowly but surely, scientists are learning more about the ringed planet. Data from the 13-year mission helped scientists determine Saturn's rings are much newer than the planet itself — and they're disappearing.

Aug 6 00:42 cbsn-fusion-saturn-rings-disappearing-nasa-2019-08-06-thumbnail-1906783-640x360.jpg cbsn-fusion-spacex-falcon-9-rocket-launch-today-2019-08-06-thumbnail-1906760-640x360.jpg

SpaceX successfully launches rocket

Three years after a spectacular on-pad explosion that destroyed an Israeli communications satellite, SpaceX boosted a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit Tuesday night. The satellite will provide broadcast, broadband and high-speed data services across Africa. Watch the launch here.

Aug 7 08:45 cbsn-fusion-spacex-falcon-9-rocket-launch-today-2019-08-06-thumbnail-1906760-640x360.jpg 1slide-the-worst-movies-of-2019-ranked.jpg

The worst movies of 2019

The worst films of the year star big name actors, including Keanu Reeves, Anne Hathaway, and Chris Hemsworth.

Aug 9 51 photos 1slide-the-worst-movies-of-2019-ranked.jpg jake-barlow-oddities-and-curiosities-expo-39.jpg

The Oddities & Curiosities Expo

A traveling exhibition of gothic and occult art, sideshow performers, and bizarre specimens stopped outside Chicago, where CBS News photographer Jake Barlow took in the odd sights

Jul 22 24 photos jake-barlow-oddities-and-curiosities-expo-39.jpg gettyimages-486106944.jpg

New York's Central Park

America's first major landscaped public park, the 840-acre park in Manhattan welcomes more than 37 million visitors every year

Jul 21 25 photos gettyimages-486106944.jpg Charles Manson

Manson Family murders: The terrifying story in pictures

A look at the cult slayings that shocked – and scared – America

Jul 3 44 photos Charles Manson star-trek.jpg

New on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

Shows and movies you'll want to stream soon

Jun 24 30 photos star-trek.jpg wright-911-call-1567128-640x360.jpg

Popular

NBA star's desperate call for help

Listen to former NBA star Lorenzen Wright’s frantic 911 call made on the night in 2010 that he was murdered. Wright was unable to give his name or location as 11 gunshots are heard before the call cuts out. It took days for authorities to learn that it was Wright who made the call.

Jul 27 00:40 wright-911-call-1567128-640x360.jpg wright-murder-plot-1567134-640x360.jpg

The alleged plot to kill Lorenzen Wright

Prosecutor Paul Hagerman reads an affidavit about informant Jimmie Martin who claims he helped plan the murder of Lorenzen Wright. Martin is Sherra Wright’s cousin. Martin claims he wasn’t there the night of the murder, but says he did help clean up the crime scene.

Jul 27 01:37 wright-murder-plot-1567134-640x360.jpg lulu-arrest-1683015-640x360.jpg

Body cam video captures murder-for-hire suspect's arrest

On July 23, 2015, detectives with the Montgomery County Texas Constable's Office arrive at the Houston gym owned by Ramon Sosa and his wife, Lulu, to arrest Lulu on suspicion of plotting her husband's death.

Jul 20 03:29 lulu-arrest-1683015-640x360.jpg blaze-remembered-1708829-640x360.jpg

#BlazeItForward: Murder victim remembered for his generosity and spirit

Close friends of the slain college sophomore share stories about the chef, writer and aspiring doctor who left their lives too soon.

Jul 20 02:27 blaze-remembered-1708829-640x360.jpg kasem-friends-1717873-640x360.jpg

Casey Kasem: Friends remember the talented radio icon

Friends, Gonzalo Venecia, Chuck and Eileen Olsen, and Les Martens remember the man behind the famous voice who kept "reaching for the stars."

Jul 27 01:40 kasem-friends-1717873-640x360.jpg

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here