Nippon Zoki Pharmaceutical, a Japanese drug company, on April 1 charged the Regents of the University of California with fraud, claiming that UCSD defrauded the company and then engaged in "a whitewash campaign to sweep the embarrassing episode of academic fraud under the rug."
The complaint, filed in federal court in San Diego, said the company paid over $1 million to UCSD to determine whether a pain medicine developed by the company is effective in treating lower-back pains. The work was allegedly done by Dr. Koichi Masuda of UCSD's Orthopaedic Surgery department. The company charges the research was "not only objectively flawed, but likely outright fabricated."
When Nippon Zoki demanded the underlying data, "Dr. Masuda claimed that he did not have them," according to the suit. An internal investigation by the university found that the research was incorrect, but the university concealed its results to "protect its own reputation," according to the suit.
UCSD did not respond to a request for comment within the allotted time frame. However, if the university has a response of reasonable length, the Reader will print it.