Italian research institute abandons collaboration over data access

An Italian research institute has withdrawn from a public–private partnership after quarrelling with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) about access to data from an antibiotic clinical trial being run by the institute.

Silvio Garattini, director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharacological Research, criticised GSK in an article in the British Medical Journal. He accused the company of being overbearing in negotiations over trial design, and trying to retain too much control over who could have access to the trial data.

GSK has publically stated its support for open access to trial data, and has signed up to the AllTrials campaign. However, Garattini contends that GSK ‘insisted that it alone could decide who would ever see the raw data and for what purpose’. He added that the current framework of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, under which the work was being conducted, means that ‘industry keeps interpreting public–private partnerships as “public duties and obligations” and “private privileges and advantages”.’