Did Andrew Wakefield plan to develop “vaccine alternatives”?

29 Jan

One question that has been actively discussed here on LeftBrainRightBrain is whether Dr. Wakefield’s patent covered the use of his “transfer factor” as a preventive vaccine against measles. This is important because it would indicate an undisclosed conflict of interest.

One of the charges the General Medical Council investigated had to do with a proposed company to work on the “transfer factor” that Dr. Wakefield was a co-inventor on (i.e. Dr. Wakefield was one of the inventors on the patent). A proposal was submitted to the Royal Free Hospital (Dr. Wakefield’s employer) about the possible company. The proposal was drafted by “Mr 10″, the father of child 10 in the Lancet study.

That Lancet paper was published on February 28th, 1998. The proposal was submitted to the Royal Free on March 4th, 1998.

The “transfer factor” is discussed in charge #40. Subsection f of charge 40 discusses the company. I quote the GMC charge sheet as it stood last week, before the decisions were handed down.

f. A proposal, dated 4 March 1998 and drafted by Mr 10, was submitted to the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in relation to the proposed company,
Admitted and found proved

i. seeking funding for a clinical trial of Transfer Factor in the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and for research into using Transfer Factor as an alternative measles specific vaccine,
Admitted and found proved with the exception of the words ‘an alternative’

So, you can see that a company proposal was submitted (admitted and found proved). Further, in sub-subsection “i” of subsection “f” (complicated, isn’t it?), you see that there was a charge that the “Transfer Factor” could be used as “an alternative measles vaccine”. Dr. Wakefield admitted to this with the exception of the words ‘an alternative’. This is consistent with his public statements (e.g. on Dateline) that the vaccine was a treatment only.

Here is how that section reads today, in the GMC ruling. Note the final paragraph which was added for the ruling.

f. A proposal, dated 4 March 1998 and drafted by Mr 10, was submitted to the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in relation to the proposed company,

Admitted and found proved

i. seeking funding for a clinical trial of Transfer Factor in the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and for research into using Transfer Factor as an alternative measles specific vaccine,

Admitted and found proved with the exception of the words‘an alternative’

Found proved in respect of the words “an alternative” on the basis of the proposal referred to above in 40.f. where it states, “The company will also investigate the potential of Transfer Factors as vaccine alternatives.”

Yes, the GMC ruled that the company proposal showed that the intent was to “…for research into using Transfer Factor as an alternative measles specific vaccine”.

In other words, the GMC appears to accept that, in addition to the use of the transfer factor as a “theraputic agent”, there was an intent to investigate the potential for the transfer factor as “vaccine alternatives”. I hope the full document is made public so we can see this sentence in full context.

As recent as last year, on Dateline, Dr. Wakefield steadfastly denied that his patent and plans had anything to do with a measles vaccine. Below is that clip.

Here is Brian Deer discussing the patent activities with Matt Lauer:

I wonder if Mr. Lauer’s reporting would differ, now that the existence of the company proposal is made public. It appears clear from this proposal demonstrate that Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues (Mr. 10 and whoever else was going to be in the company) had the intent to investigate the “transfer factor” as a vaccine alternative. This proposal was submitted a few days after the Lancet article was published, and after the news conference. I don’t see that excusing not informing the public of the potential commercial interests.

The GMC ruling states:

At or around the same time as the events set out at paragraphs 40.a. and 40.b., you were involved in a proposal to set up a company called Immunospecifics Biotechnologies Ltd to specialise in the production, formulation and sale of Transfer Factor,
(amended) Admitted and found proved with the exception of ‘40.a.’

Note that paragraph 40b describes events of February 2, well before the publication of the Lancet Article and the press conference. I.e. the intent to form a company dates from before the study became public.

I am left wondering how “The company will also investigate the potential of Transfer Factors as vaccine alternatives” can be interpreted differently than how the GMC has read it.

About these ads

6 Responses to “Did Andrew Wakefield plan to develop “vaccine alternatives”?”

  1. Socrates January 29, 2010 at 23:54 #

    In the wonderful world of Woo – anything is possible but fortunately, not at the GMC.

    I’m beginning to feel we’re beating a dead Quack. We’ve all got his measure. But the Others…

    To quote the KWombles:

    “They didn’t read the proceedings. They haven’t read the science. They believe him because he is charismatic and promises them things not within his power to deliver. It is a cult.”

    Science cannot defeat them. We need shamen.

  2. Science Mom January 30, 2010 at 02:36 #

    I don’t see the confusion. Wakefield’s own patent application designated it as a replacement for MMR:

    http://briandeer.com/wakefield/vaccine-patent.htm

    And as for the pre-prophylaxis for measles.

  3. Ross Coe September 18, 2010 at 02:37 #

    I don’t see why its a crime for a research scientist to do research and develope products. Isn’t that what pharmaceutical/vaccine companies do? The issue is, that Wakefield was a whistle blower in the eyes of the GMC and his findings were a threat to Big Pharma. He received the usual treatment whistle blowers get. This type of treatment is usually reserved for people who upset the status quo, and are getting too close to the truth. When profits are threatened, look out. Big Pharma is today’s Mafia. Wakrfield is lucky he wasn’t “HIT”, but that would make him a martyr. Though, he already is. GO WAKEFIELD!!

  4. Dedj September 18, 2010 at 02:44 #

    “I don’t see why its a crime for a research scientist to do research and develop products.”

    It isn’t and no-one said it was.

    There is enough information already out there for it to be unreasonable to hold to the idea that the issue is whether or not researchers can also develop products.

    That isn’t why Wakefield was found to be unprofessional and dishonest.

  5. Dedj September 18, 2010 at 02:46 #

    This thread is months old and the content has been superceeded by the outcome of the hearing.

    I suggest it be locked if pro-Wakefieldians are incapable of following basic internet etiquette.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Did Andrew Wakefield plan to develop “vaccine alternatives”? « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - January 31, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kev, Squillo, autism_hub, Catherina Becker, Autism Hub and others. Autism Hub said: New post: Did Andrew Wakefield plan to develop “vaccine alternatives”? http://bit.ly/cugp4P [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,082 other followers

%d bloggers like this: