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Drug trial 'Elephant Man' to lose fingers and toes

Blood supply problems

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Ryan Wilson, the man worst affected by the TGN1412 drug trial, is to have all his fingers and toes removed.

The Mirror reports that doctors will operate to remove his blackened digits, because the blood supply to the 20-year-old plumber's hands and feet was cut off by the horrific swelling caused by the tests.

Wilson spent several weeks comatose following the 15 March trial, and has been in hospital ever since. He is set to leave on Tuesday, but will have to return soon for surgery.

The drug was supposed to dampen the immune system, but had had the opposite effect - causing a serious immune response in eight of the trial volunteers.

Speaking to assembled media outside Northwick Park Hospital, Wilson's distressed girlfriend famously described him as looking like "the Elephant Man".

The eight men adversely affected by the drug have been paid £10,000 interim compensation by the insurance company for TeGenero, the German biotech firm behind the disastrous trial. Lawyers will be seeking more substantial payments once doctors have determined the long term damage caused by TGN1412, the compound the volunteers were given. ®

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