GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK)  says the Nature Medicine journal has retracted an article that contained misleading data tied to the drug maker’s research program in China.

GSK recommended withdrawing the article, published in 2010, after concluding an investigation in June that found some data had been misrepresented, London-based Glaxo said in a statement Friday. Five of the named authors, including the head of its Chinese research and development, resigned or were fired following the probe, it said.

The paper was based on pre-clinical, early stage research at Glaxo’s Shanghai research center and didn’t directly involve patients. The article, titled “Crucial role of interleukin-7 in T helper type 17 survival and expansion in autoimmune disease,” incorrectly labeled healthy human cells as being those from multiple sclerosis patients.

A scientific-data review team, overseen by an independent chair from the University of Cambridge in England, found that two other unpublished manuscripts involving the same research group responsible for the Nature Medicine paper contained “potentially purposeful misrepresentation of data.”

“Opportunities exist to further strengthen our existing culture and processes around data management,” Glaxo said. “The recommendations of the review team are being fully implemented.”

Glaxo said it recently appointed Min Li as senior vice president of neurosciences, to be based in Shanghai.

“We remain committed to research in China and our work in neurosciences,” Patrick Vallance, president of pharmaceuticals research, said in the statement.

The probe of faulty research isn’t tied to a Chinese government investigation of allegations that Glaxo allegedly bribed hospitals, doctors and officials.

Chief Executive officer Andrew Witty traveled to China last week with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron as part of a trade mission.

GSK operates its North American headquarters in RTP.