Volunteer Dies After Being Left Brain-dead In French Drug Test For New Pain Killer


A man who was left brain-dead after suffering serious side effects during a French drugs trial for a new painkiller died on Sunday, in the latest tragic development in the worst such accident in France’s medical history. Five other volunteers taken to hospital a week ago when the trial went wrong were “in a stable condition”, the hospital in the western city of Rennes where they are being treated said.

Ninety people from the Brittany region took part in the trial, taking varying doses of the drug aimed at reducing pain and anxiety.
Six men aged between 28 and 49 started taking repeated doses at higher levels than other participants on January 7.
Last Sunday, one member of the group was rushed to the hospital, with a brain condition that was so bad doctors thought he was suffering from a stroke.
He was the man who died on Sunday.
Biotrial, a French drug evaluation company based in Rennes and with offices in London and the United States, was running the trial on behalf of the Portuguese pharmaceutical company, Bial.
Three separate investigations are under way to try and find out what went wrong.Judicial police began their investigation on Friday at the premises of Biotrial in Rennes.

They were joined on Saturday by officials from IGAS, the national health audit and evaluation office, and from the national agency for medicines and health products Safety (ANSM).

The investigators are trying to determine whether the accident was caused by an error in the testing procedure or by the drug molecule itself.

All the other people involved in the drugs test have been contacted and none have so far reported anything unusual, the hospital in Rennes said.

Dr Gilles Edan, chief neuroscientist at the hospital, said in addition to the brain-dead man who has now died, three other men could have “irreversible” brain damage.

A fifth man is suffering from neurological problems and a sixth man is being kept in the hospital but is in less critical condition, he said on Saturday.

Mr Edan said there is no known way to reverse the effects of the experimental drug, which was given orally to healthy volunteers as part of a Phase 1 trial by Biotrial.

Source: The UK Telegraph

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