Three directors of a company that developed and sold a headband marketed as helping autistic children “retired” following revelations that the device inventor falsely claimed to possess a PhD in neuroscience.
The Sunday Times of Malta reported in March that Adrian Attard Trevisan had falsely claimed he had obtained a PhD in neuroscience from the University College London.
In a company announcement last week, Neurotech, the company behind the device, said Peter O’Connor, Simon Trevisan and Neale Fong had “retired from the board”.
The company’s shares jumped up 237.5 per cent upon the announcement.
Neurotech admitted last month that Dr Attard Trevisan did not hold the qualifications listed in their prospectus to investors.
Company chairman Mark Davies said Neurotech had faced several recent challenges but remained in a unique position with a “scientifically-proven product, ready to sell into a large market”.
Dr Attard Trevisan once claimed the headband could help autistic children become more in touch with their environment by “500 per cent”. He has since admitted there was no scientific study to back up the claim when it was made in 2012.
No scientific study to back up claim when it was made in 2012
In 2016, Neurotech, an Australian company, took over AAT Research, the Maltese company founded by Dr Attard Trevisan and used to market and sell the headband.
Dr Attard Trevisan’s research received extensive media coverage, an endorsement from Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and a product launch of the autism headband by the Marigold Foundation, chaired by the PM’s wife, Michelle Muscat.
Promotional material by Neurotech from that period presents Dr Attard Trevisan as a key developer of the autism headband, with a PhD in neuroscience from the University College London and a PhD in human physiology from Milan.
Since admitting to faking his PhD qualification, Neurotech announced it had cut all ties with the inventor.
Neurotech said in a public announcement it was “deeply disappointed” with the news about the fake PhD, Dr Attard Trevisan’s “limited role” as a company adviser had been terminated, it said.
Company documents from 2018 show Dr Attard Trevisan is a major shareholder in Neurotech.
Dr Attard Trevisan is being sued by a former employee for allegedly plagiarising sections of a PhD he obtained from Milan University in 2015.
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