The tragic drug trial that left six volunteers seriously ill has prompted scientists to device guidelines for drug testing. Southampton University researchers are collaborating with scientists from the drugs firm AstraZeneca in a technique called "microdosing."
This means that patients are exposed to a tiny amount of the drug and will not get the drastic side effects as seen in the earlier drug trial.
"We can monitor at a local level if the tissue is reacting and producing chemicals that in larger quantities might put the individual at risk," said lead researcher Dr Geraldine Clough. The problem is that more human-specific drugs are being made and this poses more risks to volunteers.
AstraZeneca said that microdosing provided the opportunity to detect and treat any potential complications, "This is a technique that can potentially bridge the gap in some case by case examples when the biology from animals may not fully translate into the biology of humans," a company spokesman added.