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June 29, 2021

Resumed trials continue to increase despite rise of Delta variant cases

After trial disruptions due to a peak in Covid-19 cases, clinical trials are on the rise, despite increasing cases of the Delta variant.

By GlobalData Healthcare

Since early March 2020, 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 Many companies have delayed the initiation of planned trials or withdrawn them completely and others have suspended enrollment in their ongoing trials or terminated the trials altogether.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 can 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 started declining, many trials were set to resume activity. However, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is increasing again due to the emergence of new variants.

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

As of June 14, the number of resumed trials was at 1,055. Out of these trials, 59.2% are currently recruiting participants, 18.4% have completed recruitment but are still ongoing and 0.3% have yet to start recruiting subjects. The figure below shows that there is a steady increase in trials resuming activity. Initially, the general trend showed a gradual increase in the overall percentage of trials for each trial status, the biggest of which has been seen in ongoing, recruiting trials and ongoing, not recruiting trials. However, due to current events, ongoing, recruiting trials are steadily decreasing, despite the fact that the number of overall trials increasing.

The US has the highest number of resumed trials at 69.5%, followed by the UK at 8.8%, Spain at 7.8%, France at 7.2% and Germany at 6.7%. With new variant strains emerging such as the Delta strain, surge testing and vaccinations are on the rise. With the warning of the third wave of Covid-19, future trials may be disrupted or even delayed depending on case numbers.

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