French drug trial 'accident' leaves one person brain-dead

ONE person has been left brain-dead and three others face irreversible brain damage after taking part in a drugs trial in France.

Six volunteers were hospitalised last week after taking part in the phase one trial of a new medication meant to treat mood disorders such as anxiety, developed by Portuguese pharmaceutical company Bial.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said the men, aged between 28 and 49, were part of a group of 90 people who had taken the drug, while about 30 others had received a placebo.

All were given varying doses and the six men hospitalised were the group who were taking the drug "regularly".

The group which fell ill started taking the drug on January 7 and the first patient began showing negative symptoms on January 10, Ms Touraine said.

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