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July 30, 2020

More clinical trials disrupted due to Covid-19 begin to resume

By GlobalData Healthcare

Since early March, more than 500 companies have publicly announced disruptions to their planned and ongoing clinical trials due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many companies have delayed the initiation of planned trials or withdrawn them completely, and others have suspended enrollment in their ongoing trials or terminated the trials altogether. The majority of trial disruptions could be attributed to patient safety measures, strict lockdown requirements, social distancing procedures, and the high demand for medical professionals to treat Covid-19 patients.

As the initial peak of the virus is slowly declining and countries are gradually lifting strict lockdown measures, many trials are set to resume activity. GlobalData reported on the number of resumed trials on two separate occasions, the first being 28 May when GlobalData reported that over 130 trials had resumed activity. The second was 29 June when the number of resumed trials increased to 350. On both occasions, the US had the highest number of resumed trials.

The Covid-19 Dashboard on GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center dynamically tracks both disrupted and resumed clinical trials.

As of 28 July, the number of resumed trials has increased from 350 to over 500. Out of these trials, 84.5% are currently recruiting participants, 7.6% have completed recruitment but are still ongoing, and 0.6% of trials have yet to start recruiting subjects. The figure below shows the steady increase in trials resuming activity. There has been a gradual increase in the overall percentage of trials for each trial status, the biggest of which has been seen in ongoing recruiting and ongoing not recruiting trials. Between 28 June and 29 July, ongoing recruiting trials increased from 82.7% to 84.5% and completed trials increased from 3.1% to 3.8%. These numbers are expected to steadily increase as lockdown measures globally are eased further.

The US has the highest number of resumed trials at 70.3%, followed by the UK at 7.9%, Spain at 7.7%, France at 7.3%, and Germany at 6.8%. GlobalData previously reported that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases for several states within the US had started to increase. This has remained the current trend. States that are currently seeing a rise in confirmed cases are Missouri, the US unincorporated territory Puerto Rico, Mississippi, Indiana, and Nebraska. It remains to be seen whether this will affect the resumption of trials for companies or sites located in these states, and whether it will delay any of the ongoing trials further.

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