GlaxoSmithKline pledges more openness on drug data

LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline , criticised in the past for keeping important information about its medicines under wraps, is to lift the lid on more of its drug secrets.

Chief executive Andrew Witty said on Thursday detailed data from GSK clinical trials - including anonymised patient-level results that sit behind clinical trials of approved and failed drugs - would be made available to other researchers.

He also committed to seek publication of results of all clinical trials evaluating its medicines - regardless of whether the results were positive or negative - in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

The move is a first for a major pharmaceutical company.

It follows a record $3 billion settlement by GSK with the U.S. government in July over charges it provided misleading information over drugs including antidepressant Paxil and diabetes pill Avandia.

Other companies have faced similar charges in the United States and Witty's decision to expose his company to greater transparency may force rivals to follow suit.

The industry is, in any case, under pressure from regulators to open up. The European Medicines Agency recently decided to make its own data vaults containing drug company trial results available for systematic scrutiny.

Witty also said he would make GSK's library of compounds with potential activity against tuberculosis (TB) freely available to outside research groups, matching a similar move in 2009 to put malaria compounds in the public domain.

The GSK boss will set out details of the new openness strategy at a meeting on Thursday in London, hosted by the Wellcome Trust medical charity.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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