Pfizer is reportedly seeking an out-of-court settlement with Nigeria which saw the firm accused of improperly conducting a clinical trial of its antibiotic Trovan that resulted in the death of 11 children.

Nigeria's federal government and the northern state of Kano sued Pfizer last year for damages over trials of Trovan (trovafloxacin). The New York-based drugs giant has been accused of taking advantage of an outbreak of meningitis in 1996 to test the antibiotic and another drug called ceftriaxone on 200 children without the full understanding of the families involved. The tests resulted in the deaths of 11 children and varying degrees of injuries and other disorders including deafness, muteness, paralysis, brain damage, loss of sight and slurred speech.

Pfizer has vigorously denied all charges and argues that meningitis, not Trovan, killed the children or damaged their health. Rather it says that the drug actually saved lives.

The cases were launched in July last year but they are moving along at a snail’s pace. Pfizer issued a statement to Reuters saying that “the reason for the lack of progress in these settlement talks is the excessive and unsubstantiated claims put forth by the private lawyers hired by the governments".

Nevertheless, the firm says it “continues to be interested in an amicable resolution of these cases. The company is prepared to stay at the settlement table to reach an agreement".

Pfizer said it has proposed to set up a fund for participants in the study, finance projects to improve and expand healthcare in Nigeria, and provide assistance to cover “legitimate legal expenses” incurred by the government. Reuters notes that the company may pay $10 million in compensation, rehabilitate the hospital where the Trovan study took place and upgrade Kano's state-owned drug manufacturing company.

A Kano state High Court hearing the lawsuits adjourned the civil case on Monday to November 27 and the criminal one to a day later. Pfizer's lead counsel Anthony Idigbe said the adjournment provides the disputing parties with an opportunity to reach an agreement.