Human 'guinea pig' speaks of drug test horror

Last updated at 09:30 31 March 2006

One of six victims left fighting for their lives after a disastrous medical trial has spoken for the first time about his "terrible nightmare".

Student Nav Modi, 24, said he felt like his "brain was on fire" after he was given the experimental drug earlier this month.

"I felt my head swelling up like an elephant's - I thought my eyeballs were going to pop out."

He was one of six volunteers who had a rapid inflammatory response to the drug TGN1412, which they were given by medical research company Parexel. Mr Modi was told he would not be at any risk before he was injected with the drug.

The previously healthy men had volunteered to test the medication, which was designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, leukaemia and multiple sclerosis.

Mr Modi said he was gripped by pain just an hour after the drug was given to him and the other five volunteers.

But despite screaming to a doctor, he said he was told to "lie down" and brought a paracetamol tablet - which he vomited back up within five minutes.

"Then somehow the pain got even worse with the pressure in my head so intense it was like a truck had been parked on it. It felt like a terrible nightmare," he told the Sun.

Mr Modi - who says he was fit and healthy before hand - said he took part in the trial at London's Northwick Park Hospital to earn £2,000 to pay for a new laptop.

The hospital said two days ago that two of the six men had been allowed home after responding "very well" to treatment.

One man is still in a critical condition while three others continue to make a good recovery, the statement said.

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