Bial is maker of trial drug that hospitalized six volunteers: French minister

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Portugal-based Bial lab is the manufacturer of the experimental medicine that sent six male volunteers in a trial of the drug to hospital in France, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on Friday.

Touraine said the drug, which was being tested in a Phase I trial in France by Biotrial for Bial, contained neither cannabis nor any substance derived from cannabis. A person familiar with the situation had said it was a cannabis-based painkiller.

The minister said the drug was meant to act on the body's endocannabinoid system, which deals with pain.

One person has been left brain dead and five others are in a serious condition after taking part in the clinical trial in western France, the French health ministry said earlier.

(Reporting by Ingrid Melander and Matthias Blamont; Editing by James Regan)