The scientific community has long been sceptical of claims made by German cardiologist Bodo-Eckehard Strauer that stem cells derived from bone-marrow cells can repair damage in diseased hearts, and critical of his clinical trials.
Now an investigation committee at the University of Düsseldorf, where he worked until his retirement in 2009, has found evidence of scientific misconduct in papers reporting the trials’ findings, according to a statement the university sent to reporters by e-mail.
The university has referred the committee’s report to an internal disciplinary procedure, which is not expected to draw a conclusion until next year. In the meantime the university is providing no further public information about the nature of the misconduct — nor the outcome of a parallel investigation into the whether clinical trials involving 537 patients complied with rules of good clinical practice and the provisions of the German Medicines Act. But Benedikt Pannen, acting chief executive of the University Hospital in Düsseldorf, says that the report of the clinical investigation had been sent to the city’s public prosecutors.