Bogus Isomer Vendors Identified

Pharma company publishes a list of 17 companies known to have sold the incorrect isomer of the kinase inhibitor bosutinib.

By Sabrina Richards | May 25, 2012

Wikimedia Commons, Tibor Kádek


Pharmaceutical company PKC Pharma has published list of companies known to have sold the incorrect isomer of the kinase inhibitor bosutinib, which researchers are studying as a potential chemotherapeutic agent. As The Scientist reported earlier this month (see Mismarketed Chemical Causes Concern), inconsistent NMR spectra alerted the biochemical community that an incorrect isomer of bosutinib had entered the marketplace. PKC Pharma, after being notified that its own bosutinib was actually the incorrect isomer, began purchasing and testing bosutinib from different vendors to learn how many may have unwittingly sold an incorrect form of bosutinib. This week (May 23), the company listed 17 vendors on its website that it says sold the incorrect isomer, verified by several tests including proton NMR.

PKC Pharma, which had distributed bostunib bought from other suppliers, will seek refunds from companies that supplied the incorrect isomer, said President Paul Driedger, and has already sent letters offering refunds or replacements to PKC Pharma’s customers. One company on PKC Pharma’s list, Selleckchem, has already switched to the correct isomer. General Manager Graham Dong said that to his knowledge, any incorrect isomer purchased had already been replaced with the correct bosutinib isomer synthesized by Selleckchem. Although companies may not welcome appearing on PKC Pharma’s list, “We’re willing to stand by our data,” said Driedger, who noted that his company had also produced an X-ray crystallography of the incorrect isomer, verified by three experts.

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Avatar of: Bill


Posts: 1457

May 25, 2012

Anyone surprised to see Santa Cruz on the list?

Avatar of: SteveHayward


Posts: 4

June 4, 2012

At ACD/Labs, we thought it would be interesting to see if an Automated Structure Verification (ASV) system such as ours would be able to flag the original bosutinib structure for review and/or pass the isomer when compared with experimental NMR data.  We are working with Phil Keyes of Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, and you can see our initial results here:

Avatar of: charlesD


Posts: 1

November 7, 2012

AK Sciences are the first on the list of companies retailing the bogus isomer. i bought their bogus in january 2012, used it through september 2012 before reading the Scientist article. AK Sciences did not contact me about the bogus isoform and so i worked with it for three months after they should have known about its structure and communicated the issue to customers. i asked for a modest store credit in lieu of significant damages incurred but AK Sciences claim their customer agreement covers their negligence. i agree that until this article was published their position was reasonable. but to not communicate to customers knowing that they had sold a bogus compound....that truly stinks.

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