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GSK executives sell drug compound as a nutritional supplement on the side

Friday, August 20, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: GSK, resveratrol, health news


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(NaturalNews) A recent report in Xconomy has revealed that several executives from drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have been selling a certain resveratrol formula, a component of red wine that has gained much attention for its anti-cancer and anti-aging properties, as a dietary supplement while a similar formation undergoes clinical trials for drug approval.

It all began when GSK acquired Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, a drug company that specialized in developing resveratrol drugs, about two years ago. A few Sirtris executives -- who have now become GSK executives -- launched a nonprofit called the Healthy Lifespan Institute (HLI), from which they began selling a specialized resveratrol formula as a dietary supplement.

According to reports, the supplement formula is similar to the one currently undergoing clinical trials for drug approval at GSK as a treatment for cancer. GSK denies, however, that the formulas are the same, and has indicated that trials for the drug version -- also known as SRT501 -- have since ceased.

Pharmaceutical drugs often come from natural compounds anyway, so it makes sense that the original formulas may also work as dietary supplements. But because GSK plans to continue development of a proprietary resveratol drug, the company has instructed the executives involved to stop selling the supplement and distance themselves from the nonprofit.

Earlier in the week, HLI was still selling a year's supply of the resveratrol supplements for $540 -- which the group claims represented the actual cost of producing them -- but since that time, the "Buy Resveratrol" link on the site has been removed.

The New York Times has also reported that the two employees involved with the nonprofit will be resigning from their positions and continuing their work at GSK.

Sources for this story include:

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/...

http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2010/08/12/for...

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