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Drug volunteers face coma

17th March 2006

Two of the six men who volunteered for a drug trial that went wrong may be in a coma for as long as a year, it has emerged today.

Ryan Wilson, 21, is one of two men still on the critical list at Northwick Park hospital in London after being involved in trials for the TGN 1412 drug, while doctors are also treating four other men who remain in a serious condition.

"We're being told that Ryan might be in this coma for six to 12 months. He can't even breathe on his own," Mr Wilson's sister-in-law, Jo Brown, told the Sun newspaper.

The drug, which was being trialled to treat rheumatoid arthritis and leukaemia, was developed by German firm TeGenero and the tests in a private unit of the hospital were overseen by American drug testing company Parexel.

The latest statement from the hospital admitted that "it could be a while until [the two men in a critical condition] show significant change."

An international warning has been sent out in a bid to prevent further tests of the drug.