Sector News

Global clinical trials take a major hit from pandemic

April 9, 2020
Life sciences

Clinical trial enrollment has dropped massively across the world with endocrine and cardiovascular tests being the hardest hit.

This is according to a new breakdown from Medidata (PDF), now owned by Dassault Systèmes, which aims to show by numbers how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted global clinical trials.

The firm’s analysis of data from 4,599 studies and 182,321 study-sites shows a stark retreat: The year-on-year difference between March 2019 and March 2020 across all reported countries and targeted disease areas saw trial enrollment down around 65% on average.

The U.K. was the hardest hit, with trial enrollment down 80.1% year over year. Its tax-funded trial organization, the National Institute for Health Research, said it was stopping pretty much all tests in the country to focus on COVID-19 trials and getting medical staff out onto the front lines against the pandemic.

The U.S., meanwhile, was down 66.7%, with Germany and Japan as outliers with enrollment down 32.5% and 43.5%, respectively. In terms of disease areas trials are targeting, endocrine disorders were the hardest hit, down 80%, with cardiovascular, central nervous system and dermatology all closely matched, being down in the mid- to high-60% range.

Cancer trials were down but just under half year on year; perhaps unsurprisingly, respiratory was down the least, just 33%.

The report found China, where the virus originated late last year and the first epicenter of the outbreak, had initially seen its trials hit but is bouncing back. The report’s authors said: “In China, we saw a 68% decrease in new patients entering trials YoY during March, but the silver lining was that March was 240% higher than February in terms of new patients added, which could be a leading indicator of China returning to normalcy.”

This comes as a series of biopharmas including Pfizer, Merck, GSK, Eli Lilly, Bristol Myers Squibb and others are all saying they have had to delay or pause a series of trials due to the pandemic. And one biotech, Aveo Pharmaceuticals, also recently cited COVID-19 as a reason for the study failure of ficlatuzumab in acute myeloid leukemia.

Medidata conclude that: “These few but growing examples of trial delays or stoppage by biopharma to mitigate the cost and impact of the pandemic dramatically highlight the need for rapid, innovative solutions to help trials successfully start, continue and finish.”

By Ben Adams

Source: Fierce Biotech

Join the discussion!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related News

January 23, 2021

Thermo Fisher Scientific acquires Novasep’s Henogen for $874.5m

Life sciences

Thermo Fisher Scientific has acquired Novasep’s viral vector manufacturing business in Belgium, Henogen, for about €725m ($874.5m) in cash. Henogen offers biotechnology firms, as well as biopharma customers contract manufacturing services for vaccines and therapies.

January 23, 2021

Lilly and Merus partner to develop T-Cell re-directing antibody therapies

Life sciences

Research and development group of Eli Lilly and Company, Loxo Oncology at Lilly, and clinical-stage oncology company Merus have announced a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement to develop T-Cell re-directing bispecific antibodies.

January 23, 2021

Adagene plans $125M IPO to go after cancer niches targeted by BMS and Pfizer

Life sciences

Chinese cancer biotech Adagene has filed to raise up to $125 million in a Nasdaq IPO. The listing will give Adagene the means to run early-phase clinical trials of antibodies against CD137 and CTLA-4.

Send this to a friend