Are first-in-man clinical trials safe?

On 6 January this year, six healthy men gathered at a clinical trial centre in the north-west of France.

For 1900 euros ($3000) each, they had agreed to put their bodies on the line to test the safety of a new psychotropic drug, known simply as BIA 10-2474.

The light blue capsules in front of them had been shown to be safe in mice, rats, dogs and monkeys, as