In January 2016, the French company Biotrial recruited 128 healthy volunteers to take part in a clinical trial of a new drug designed to combat anxiety related to cancer and Parkinson’s disease. Under the influence of small doses of the drug, the patients reported no side effects. But when the doses began to escalate after the first week, problems started to surface. In particular, six of the participants became sick and were immediately sent to the ER.

One of these patients, a healthy man in his late 20s, was declared brain dead just one week after being admitted to the hospital and two weeks after starting the trial. The five other patients remained in a stable condition, but doctors predict that many will have suffered irreversible brain damage and mental handicaps.

Clinical Trivia: French Biotrial Tragedy
Clinical Trivia: French Biotrial Tragedy

Even though this was the first time the drug had been tested on humans, the trial administrators knew that there were serious issues with the drug. One French news source uncovered a pre-trial that had similar effects on dogs, killing several and leaving others with brain damage.Yet the trial was still conducted on humans, and with horrible results.

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