Six men fell ill after participating in the trial of anti-inflammatory drug at a research unit at the Northwick Park Hospital on Monday. Four of the men are now understood to be improving, although they are still seriously ill. One of the men who is critically ill has been named as 21-year-old student Ryan Wilson, from Highbury, north London. One of the other volunteers is understood to be from New Zealand. The trial, which was being conducted by American firm Parexel, was suspended by the Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and an investigation has been launched into the testing procedures to see what caused the severe reaction. TeGenero, the company which manufactured the drug, denied allegations that animals had died during previous drug tests. Chief scientific officer Thomas Hanke also confirmed that the firm had apologised to the relatives of the sick men.
Two of the men were given placebos during the trial and did not suffer any ill effects. One of the men, Raste Khan, gave an interview to ‘The Sun’ newspaper describing the scenes at the research unit after the men had taken the drug. Mr Khan described how the other patients began vomiting, fainting and screaming in agony. He told the newspaper that the men “went down like dominos”. “First they began tearing their shirts off complaining of fever, then some screamed out that their heads felt like they were about to explode,” Mr Khan told ‘The Sun’. Monday’s trial was the first time that TGN 1412 had been tested on humans.” – 4RFV