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General medicine
Drug discovery today: no molecules required
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  • Published on:
    Re: Defamation: no evidence required
    • Alexander Y Panchin, senior researcher Sector of Molecular Evolution, Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

    Sergey Tarasov responded to our article “Drug discovery today: no molecules required” with claims of mistakes in our analysis. We are sure that we did not conceal anything of relevance or make any mistakes. This is a response to the claims by Sergey Tarasov.

    1. Tarasov claims that one of us has an undeclared conflict of interest: “However, one of the authors of the article, Khromov-Borisov NN, is a defendant in a defamation lawsuit brought by Materia Medica (June 28, 2018). Materia Medica has sued Khromov-Borisov NN <…> this therefore raises serious doubts over the objectivity and impartiality of one of the authors of the article, who also carried out the data analysis presented in supplementary letter 1”. However, the analysis provided by Khromov-Borisov NN was sent to the editor of International Journal of Diabetes Research on Dec 13, 2017 (Supplementary Letter 1). Then editors of Drug Discovery Today (Feb 5, 2018, Supplementary Letter 5), BMJ (Apr 2, 2018), and BMJ EBM assessed the article including analysis mentioned above. Thus Tarasov presented the chronology completely wrong. First we have submitted our criticism of release-activity (RA) to scientific journals and only then Materia Medica sued one of our co-authors.

    2. We don’t see how any of our previous criticisms of RA drugs and homeopathy creates a conflict of interest or are relevant to the reception of our article.

    3. We have stated that RA drugs contain no active substance. Simple...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Defamation: no evidence required
    • Sergey Tarasov, Director of Research & Development Department OOO “NPF “Materia Medica Holding”

    The article “Drug discovery today: no molecules required” (2018) (by Panchin AY, Khromov-Borisov NN, Dueva EV) questions the imperfections in reviewing scientific publications. The authors use the example of publications on released-active drugs (RA-drugs) as a basis for the paper and their accusations against journal editorial boards. The authors postulate that these drugs do not contain any active ingredients due to the technology used and therefore come to the conclusion that the reviewers and journal editors who have published articles on RA-drugs carried out their work appallingly and made gross mistakes. So the authors state «…the vast amount of flawed publication claiming therapeutic properties and physiological effects of drugs with no active components can highlight the problems of peer-review standards and policies in biomedical journals».
    This particular conclusion is based on approximate theoretical calculations and not on experimental evidence: «If one assumes a 1M initial antibodies concentration (though this is usually not disclosed in release-activity papers) and takes into account Avogadro’s constant (~6.02×10^23 mol^(−1)), then even C12 dilutions are unlikely to contain any antibody molecules». In their article, the authors present these calculations as the main argument to complain to journals. It is noteworthy that in the article the authors do not provide any data or references to any studies conducted by themselves. Neither do the authors provid...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    Tarasov SA is employee of OOO “NPF “Materia Medica Holding”, the company, which produces and markets RA-drugs. Tarasov SA is co-author in the papers dedicated to the RA-drugs described in the article by Panchin et al. (2018) BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. doi: 10.1136/bmjebm-2018-111121. Tarasov SA is co-author of several patents dedicated to RA-drugs. OOO “NPF “Materia Medica Holding” has sued Khromov-Borisov NN (А40-148616/2018) (http://kad.arbitr.ru/Card/a74a5f06-fff8-4b4a-b5c0-3f97c33d36c1; in Russian).