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Creditors of medical trials centre to meet

A CREDITORS' meeting will take place next week to appoint a liquidator to the country's only independent clinical trials centre. The respected Cork-based Shandon Clinical Trials made news earlier this year when a number of its participants were rushed to hospital.

The meeting, being held with a view to appointing a liquidator to the centre, will take place on November 3. On August 27, three participants in a clinical trial at the centre were rushed to hospital after they experienced seizures.

The now-terminated trial involved healthy males using a drug normally taken by cancer patients.

The incident was reported to the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) and the clinical research ethics committee of the Cork Teaching Hospitals.

The IMB is investigating the phase one trial, which was set up to determine the bio-availability of a drug for its potential use in the treatment of cancer.

Established in 1990, the Shandon Clinic conducts clinical studies on healthy volunteers on behalf of many major pharmaceutical companies.

The clinic had publicly stated it had experienced a surge of interest in clinical trials among members of the public as a result of the downturn.

It is the country's only contract research clinic which carries out medical trials, and had been receiving in the region of 400 enquiries a month with the majority of calls from people aged 21 to 25.

These include pharmacokinetic studies, dermatology studies and oral soft-tissue studies. Volunteers are paid €130 a day, or €20 per short visit.

The unit at the Shandon Clinic is comprised of 18 beds, an outpatient clinic, a dental unit and a pharmacy.

It employs in the region of 13 support staff.

There was no response from the centre when contacted by the Irish Independent.

Irish Independent