Global clinical trials activity increases 14.0% YoY in Q4 2020

22nd January 2021 (Last Updated January 22nd, 2021 19:25)

Global clinical trials activity increased by 14.0% in Q4 2020, when compared with the same quarter in 2019, according to GlobalData.

Industry sponsored trials accounted for a 55.6% share of overall activity in Q4 2020, an increase of 2.4% when compared with Q4 2019.

Non-industry sponsored trials accounted for a 44.4% share of all clinical trials in Q4 2020, marking a decrease of 2.4% when compared with the same period in 2019.

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Q4 2020 industry sponsored clinical trials activity by therapy areas

Oncology was the leading therapy area for industry sponsored clinical trials in Q4 2020, accounting for a 30.8% share of all trials.

This was followed by infectious disease with an 18.5% share, central nervous system with 12.1%, metabolic disorders with 7.0% and respiratory with 6.4%.

In Q4 2019, oncology led with a 28.8% share, followed by central nervous system with 15.2%, infectious disease with 10.7%, metabolic disorders with 7.8%, and gastrointestinal with 7.5%.

Industry sponsored trials: Q4 2020 vs Q4 2019
Therapy Area Q4 2019 Q4 2020 Activity
Oncology 28.8% 30.8% Increase
Infectious Disease 10.7% 18.5% Increase
Central Nervous System 15.2% 12.1% Decrease
Metabolic Disorders 7.8% 7.0% Decrease
Respiratory 5.7% 6.4% Increase
Immunology 5.6% 5.6% Decrease
Cardiovascular 7.1% 5.3% Decrease
Gastrointestinal 7.5% 5.1% Decrease
Dermatology 5.2% 3.9% Decrease
Musculoskeletal Disorders 4.1% 3.8% Decrease
Hematological Disorders 2.6% 3.2% Increase
Ophthalmology 3.2% 3.2% Decrease
Genito Urinary System And Sex Hormones 3.1% 2.3% Decrease
Genetic Disorders 1.8% 2.2% Increase
Women’s Health 2.4% 1.5% Decrease
Ear Nose Throat Disorders 1.7% 0.7% Decrease
Male Health 0.9% 0.6% Decrease
Hormonal Disorders 0.7% 0.4% Decrease
Nutritional Disorders 0.6% 0.4% Decrease
Mouth and Dental Disorders 0.6% 0.3% Decrease
Non Malignant Disorders 0.1% 0.1% Decrease

Most active therapy areas in non-industry sponsored clinical trials

In Q4 2020 the leading therapy area for non-industry sponsored clinical trials was oncology, accounting for a 26.4% share of all trials.

This was followed central nervous system with a 22.7% share, infectious disease with 16.6%, cardiovascular with 9.6%, and gastrointestinal with 6.4%.

In Q4 2019, central nervous system held the lead in non-industry sponsored clinical trials with a 24.5% share, followed by oncology with 21.9%, cardiovascular with 8.7%, infectious disease with 7.7%, and gastrointestinal with 7.5%.

Non-Industry sponsored trials: Q4 2020 vs Q4 2019
Therapy Area Q4 2019 Q4 2020 Activity
Oncology 21.9% 26.4% Increase
Central Nervous System 24.5% 22.7% Decrease
Infectious Disease 7.7% 16.6% Increase
Cardiovascular 8.7% 9.6% Increase
Gastrointestinal 7.5% 6.4% Decrease
Metabolic Disorders 6.2% 5.8% Decrease
Respiratory 3.9% 5.6% Increase
Musculoskeletal Disorders 5.8% 4.3% Decrease
Women’s Health 5.4% 4.0% Decrease
Hematological Disorders 3.2% 2.9% Decrease
Immunology 3.6% 2.9% Decrease
Dermatology 4.1% 2.8% Decrease
Genito Urinary System And Sex Hormones 3.9% 2.6% Decrease
Mouth and Dental Disorders 2.6% 1.6% Decrease
Ophthalmology 2.1% 1.6% Decrease
Nutritional Disorders 0.6% 0.9% Increase
Hormonal Disorders 0.9% 0.8% Decrease
Ear Nose Throat Disorders 1.1% 0.6% Decrease
Genetic Disorders 0.9% 0.6% Decrease
Male Health 0.9% 0.5% Decrease
Non Malignant Disorders 0.3% 0.4% Increase

Asia-Pacific region has the most activity for industry sponsored clinical trials

Asia-Pacific was the most active region for industry sponsored clinical trials activity in Q4 2020 with a 45.5% share, compared with 52.9% in Q4 2019.

North America was the second most active region with a 40.0% share in Q4 2020, up from 33.1% in Q4 2019, followed by Europe with a 30.0% share in Q4 2020, up from 28.3% in Q4 2019.

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Single country studies held an 82.3% share in industry sponsored clinical trials in Q4 2020, compared with 83.6% in Q4 2019. Multinational trials accounted for 17.7% in Q4 2020, against 16.4% in Q4 2019.

Regional activity for non-industry sponsored clinical trials

Asia-Pacific saw the most non-industry sponsored clinical trial activity in Q4 2020 with a 47.0% share, down from 47.3% in Q4 2019.

North America held the second position with a 25.4% share in Q4 2020, compared with 17.9% in Q4 2019. This was followed by Europe with a 15.0% share in Q4 2020, as against 15.4% in Q4 2019.

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Single country studies accounted for 98.6% share of non-industry sponsored clinical trials in Q4 2020, compared with 98.5% in Q4 2019. Multinational trials accounted for a 1.4% share in Q4 2020, down from 1.5% in Q4 2019.

Clinical trials by phase in Q4 2020

Phase II trials outnumbered all other studies with a 39.1% share for industry sponsored trials in Q4 2020, compared with 34.5% in Q4 2019.

The share of Phase I trials stood at 31.6% in Q4 2020, down from 39.3% in Q4 2019. Phase III trials increased to 19.2% in Q4 2020, compared with 16.5% in Q4 2019, followed by Phase IV trials with a 10.1% share in Q4 2020, against 9.6% in Q4 2019.

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For non-industry sponsored clinical trials, Phase II activity increased to a 47.4% share in Q4 2020, compared with 41.5% in Q4 2019.

Phase IV trials were the second most active with a 19.3% share in Q4 2020, compared with 21.7% in Q4 2019. Phase III trials held a 16.8% share in Q4 2020, against 20.4% in Q4 2019, followed by Phase I trials with a 16.5% share in Q4 2020, over 16.4% in Q4 2019.

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Methodology:
The clinical trials data used for the analyses were extracted from the Clinical Trials Database of GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center. Clinical Trials are sourced from numerous government, non-government and company clinical trial registries worldwide alongside clinical research publications, scientific conferences, company websites, SEC filings and more. The information is gathered by a combination of automation and secondary research to ensure accuracy and validity. A small number of Phase 0, Phase I/II, Phase II/III, and Phase III/IV trials were combined with Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, and Phase IV trials, respectively.