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The Clinical Trials Industry’s Weekly News Update

Clinical trial sector recovering as COVID-19 recedes says report

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The clinical trials sector is showing signs of recovering from the disruption caused during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic according to new research.

The research – by Pharma Intelligence – revealed that 4,109 industry-sponsored clinical trials have moved from Phase I through to Phase III/IV and have either reached completed trial status or reported primary endpoints during 2021.

This exceeds the 3,777 trials in 2020 and represents an 8.8% annual increase, and doubles the growth rate observed in the pre-pandemic period from 2017 through 2019 (3.0–4.3%) according to the authors.

And the number of successful clinical trials have also increased as the pandemic has started to recede.

The authors write that “Despite the turbulence caused by the pandemic, the leading clinical trial sponsors achieved success rates comparable to those in 2019.”

They also predict that the recovery will continue, citing the uptick in early phase research as a key indication.

“The expected distribution of trial counts by phase was observed with fewer later phase trials completing than those of earlier phases across therapeutic areas.

“This trend towards growth in earlier phases of research and reductions in larger clinical trial completions indicates that the pandemic recovery is still ongoing, with the multi-year timelines of Phase III trials in particular more prone to disruption,” the authors write.


The researchers also looked at the types of drug companies conducting trials and found that a greater
proportion of studies are being sponsored by smaller biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies.

Despite the uptick in trial activity at smaller firms large drug companies are still sponsoring the most studies according to the authors.

“Even as smaller pharma companies possess an increasing share of clinical activity, Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Merck & Co., Pfizer, and Novartis continue to occupy the top five positions in completed trials,” they write.

Image: Stock Photo Secrets

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