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Expert Firms Play a Hidden Role in Connecting Science and Finance

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Science  11 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6116, pp. 137-139
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6116.137

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Colleagues of University of Michigan neurologist Sidney Gilman were shocked when the U.S. government revealed a massive insider trading scheme that was based on his conversations with a hedge fund analyst. The two men were brought together by a so-called expert network firm, and according to documents in the U.S. district court in New York, the analyst generated ill-gotten gains through stock trades based on confidential information he gained from Gilman about the results of a clinical trial for a new Alzheimer's drug. The case is the latest in a string of high-profile prosecutions that have focused attention on this little-known world of so-called expert network firms. To find out how such expert network firms operate, and why a researcher would participate, Science interviewed one firm's top-rated experts in health care.