[JURIST] Nigerian Judge Anwuri Shekere Wednesday suspended court proceedings in the criminal case against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer [corporate website] until October 29, granting a request by prosecutors for more time to prepare. Pfizer is accused of conducting an illegal clinical trial in 1996 on approximately 200 Nigerian children, 100 of which were administered the then-experimental anti-biotic Trovan [FDA backgrounder] without the authorization of the Nigerian government or the consent of the patients' guardians.
In a separate $7 billion civil suit [BBC backgrounder] filed by the Nigerian federal government, amended charges were refiled against Pfizer last week after the government uncovered additional evidence alleging that Pfizer had committed fraud [JURIST report] relating to patient consent. In June, the Nigerian court rejected a motion by Pfizer [JURIST report] to dismiss the case on technical grounds. Pfizer is facing several civil and criminal lawsuits for its alleged conduct during a 1996 meningitis outbreak in Kano, Nigeria. AP has more.