DRUG testing using human tissue could prevent people being made seriously ill in clinical trials of new medicines, Southend West MP David Amess said yesterday.

Conservative Mr Amess said advances in technology could prevent “disasters” like one in which six men were hospitalised after an unsuccessful drugs trial.

The six suffered multiple organ failure after being given TGN1412, which was designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, leukaemia and multiple sclerosis.

They were placed in intensive care and one sufferer was described as looking like “the Elephant Man” after the trial, which was conducted in 2006 by drug company Parexel, at Northwick Park Hospital, in north west London.

Mr Amess said new techniques, including new methods of administering minuscule amounts of a drug, could predict the effects of medicines “more accurately than animals ever can”.

This would remove the need for many forms of animal testing, for which there was an “ethical imperative”. His Safety of Medicines Bill would set up trials using drugs found to be dangerous to humans utilising the new methods and comparing them with existing animal tests.

Mr Amess told the House of Commons: “This will reveal which set of tests is more successful at predicting the safety of medicines in humans.”

His Bill, which has cross-party support, needs Government support to become law.