Five in critical condition and one in coma after testing with Portuguese medicine BIA 10-2474

By Márcio Barra

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Six people were hospitalized in the Hospital of Rennes, France in serious condition, and one is brain dead, following a Phase I first-in-man clinical trial with a new drug  from the Portuguese pharmaceutical company BIAL.  The clinical trial was being conducted by French company Biotrial.

The French Health Minister, Marisol Touraine said on Friday that it is a “serious accident”. The minister added that the accident happened on Thursday and that the trial was suspended, with all previous volunteers called to undergo tests.

There are several reports online describing the drug as an analgesic product based on cannabis, but little to new additional details are being reported. Looking at BIAL´s R&D pipeline, the agent appears to be BIAL´s BIA 10-2474. BIA 10-2474 is described as a new small molecule drug that acts on the Central Nervous System as a painkiller, and currently undergoing Phase I trials.

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Reports state that a total of 8 participants were participating in the trial, with two taking placebo. A message on Biotrial´s website reads:

During a FIM study which was being conducted for a sponsor, serious adverse events related to the test drug  have occurred in some subjects at our CPU. The trial has been conducted in full compliance with the international regulations and Biotrial’s procedures were followed at every stage throughout the trial, in particular the emergency procedures for the transfer of subjects to the hospital. We are in close and regular contact with the Health Authorities and Ministry in France. The priority at Biotrial remains the safety of our subjects. We are very grateful for the support we have been receiving from our clients and partners today.

BIAL is still verifying the occurrence, since the drug has been used successfully in other subjects with no issues.

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