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  1. Clinical Trials Analysis
February 2, 2021

Global clinical trials activity increases 16.6% in Q4 2020 over 4Q average

By brooke wilson

The global clinical trials activity saw an increase of 16.6% in Q4 2020, when compared with the rolling average of the last four quarters (Q4 2019 to Q3 2020), according to GlobalData.

Of the overall activity, industry sponsored trials accounted for a 55.6% share in Q4 2020, marking a increase of 8.2% in the total share when compared with the four-quarter average.

Non-industry sponsored trials accounted for a 44.4% share of all the clinical trials globally in Q4 2020, marking an decrease of 8.2% in the overall share when compared with the four-quarter average.

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Top therapy areas for industry and non-industry sponsored clinical trials in Q4 2020

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

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This was followed by the following therapy areas: Infectious Disease with an 18.5% share, Central Nervous System with a 12.1% share, Metabolic Disorders with a 7.0% share and Respiratory with a 6.4% share.

In the last four quarters, Oncology held a lead over other therapy areas for industry sponsored clinical trials with a 26.6% share, followed by Infectious Disease with an 18.9% share, Central Nervous System with a 13.3% share, Respiratory with an 8.9% share, and Metabolic Disorders with a 7.8% share.

Industry sponsored trials activity: 4-Quarter Avg. vs Q4 2020
Therapy Area 4-Quarter Avg. Q4 2020 Activity
Oncology 26.6% 30.8% Increase
Infectious Disease 18.9% 18.5% Decrease
Central Nervous System 13.3% 12.1% Decrease
Metabolic Disorders 7.8% 7.0% Decrease
Respiratory 8.9% 6.4% Decrease
Immunology 5.0% 5.6% Increase
Cardiovascular 7.5% 5.3% Decrease
Gastrointestinal 6.9% 5.1% Decrease
Dermatology 4.4% 3.9% Decrease
Musculoskeletal Disorders 3.6% 3.8% Increase
Hematological Disorders 2.8% 3.2% Increase
Ophthalmology 2.7% 3.2% Increase
Genito Urinary System And Sex Hormones 2.7% 2.3% Decrease
Genetic Disorders 1.6% 2.2% Increase
Women’s Health 2.0% 1.5% Decrease
Ear Nose Throat Disorders 1.6% 0.7% Decrease
Male Health 0.9% 0.6% Decrease
Hormonal Disorders 0.6% 0.4% Decrease
Nutritional Disorders 0.4% 0.4% Decrease
Mouth and Dental Disorders 0.6% 0.3% Decrease
Non Malignant Disorders 0.2% 0.1% Decrease

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

This was followed by the following therapy areas: Central Nervous System with a 22.7% share, Infectious Disease with a 16.6% share, Cardiovascular with a 9.6% share, and Gastrointestinal with a 6.4% share.

In the last four quarters, Oncology held a lead over others for non-industry sponsored clinical trials with an average share of 21.4%, followed by Infectious Disease with a 21.3% share, Central Nervous System with a 20.9% share, Respiratory with an 8.4% share, and Cardiovascular with an 8.1% share.

Non-Industry sponsored trials activity: 4-Quarter Avg. vs Q4 2020
Therapy Area 4-Quarter Avg. Q4 2020 Activity
Oncology 21.4% 26.4% Increase
Central Nervous System 20.9% 22.7% Increase
Infectious Disease 21.3% 16.6% Decrease
Cardiovascular 8.1% 9.6% Increase
Gastrointestinal 6.1% 6.4% Increase
Metabolic Disorders 4.9% 5.8% Increase
Respiratory 8.4% 5.6% Decrease
Musculoskeletal Disorders 4.5% 4.3% Decrease
Women’s Health 4.7% 4.0% Decrease
Hematological Disorders 2.8% 2.9% Increase
Immunology 3.0% 2.9% Decrease
Dermatology 2.9% 2.8% Decrease
Genito Urinary System And Sex Hormones 2.9% 2.6% Decrease
Mouth and Dental Disorders 2.1% 1.6% Decrease
Ophthalmology 1.6% 1.6% Decrease
Nutritional Disorders 0.6% 0.9% Increase
Hormonal Disorders 0.6% 0.8% Increase
Ear Nose Throat Disorders 1.1% 0.6% Decrease
Genetic Disorders 0.6% 0.6% Decrease
Male Health 0.6% 0.5% Decrease
Non Malignant Disorders 0.3% 0.4% Increase

Top regions in industry and non-industry sponsored clinical trials activity in Q4 2020

Asia-Pacific held the top position for industry sponsored clinical trials activity in Q4 2020 with a 45.5% share, compared to 53.1% in the last four quarters.

North America stood at second place with a 40.0% share in Q4 2020, over 31.8% in the last four quarters, followed by Europe with a 30.0% share in Q4 2020, as against 28.2% in the last four quarters.

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Single country studies held an 82.3% share in industry sponsored clinical trials in Q4 2020 when compared with 84.5% of average recorded in the last four quarters. Multinational trials accounted for a 17.7% share in Q4 2020, as against the four-quarter average of 15.6%.

Asia-Pacific region held the top position in non-industry sponsored clinical trial activity in Q4 2020 with a 47.0% share, over 47.4% in the last four quarters.

North America held the second position with a 25.4% share in Q4 2020, over 17.0% in the last four quarters, followed by Europe with a 15.0% share in Q4 2020, as against 15.3% in the last four quarters.

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Single country studies held a 98.6% share for non-industry sponsored clinical trials in Q4 2020, compared to 98.7% in the last four quarters. Multinational trials accounted for a 1.4% share in Q4 2020, as against 1.3% in the last four quarters.

Industry and non-industry sponsored 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 to 34.9% average in the last four quarters.

The share of Phase I trials stood at 31.6% in Q4 2020, as against the four-quarter average of 36.3%. Phase III trials held a 19.2% share in Q4 2020, registering an increase of 2.3% over the last four quarters average, followed by Phase IV trials with a 10.1% share in Q4 2020, as against the four-quarter average of 11.8%.

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Phase II trials outnumbered all other trials with a 47.4% share for non-industry sponsored clinical trials in Q4 2020, compared to 42.5% in the last four quarters.

Phase IV trials stood at second place with a 19.3% share in Q4 2020, compared to 19.6% in the last four quarters. Phase III trials held a 16.8% share in Q4 2020, as against 21.4% in the last four quarters, followed by Phase I trials with a 16.5% share in Q4 2020 over 16.4% average recorded in the last four quarters.

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