Resumed trials are showing a slow but steady increase.
Since early March 2020, more than 500 companies 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Many companies have delayed the initiation of planned trials or withdrawn them completely, and others have suspended enrolment in their ongoing trials or terminated the trials altogether.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 on 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 globally, especially in Western areas such as the US and Europe.
The news of two more transmissible variants of Covid-19 that are deemed to be more infectious has led to increased restrictive measures globally.
The Covid-19 Dashboard on GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center dynamically tracks both disrupted and resumed trials.
As of February 22, 2021, the number of resumed trials has increased to 955. Out of these trials, 68.3% are currently recruiting participants, 14.0% have completed recruitment but are still ongoing, and 0.4% of trials have yet to start recruiting subjects.
The figure below shows that there is a very slight, steady increase of 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, between January 25 and February 22, ongoing, recruiting trials decreased further from 71.9% to 68.3%, and completed trials increased from 12.8% to 14.0%. The US has the highest number of resumed trials at 70.2%, followed by the UK at 9.3%, Spain at 7.0 %, France at 6.9%, and Germany at 6.5%.
With the global rollout of three main Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna, and the latest approval for Johnson & Johnson, active cases of Covid-19 worldwide are decreasing steadily.
This is evident in countries where there is an increased vaccination rollout such as China, the US, and the UK.
Last week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a “roadmap” including key dates for the lifting of restrictions; in the US, President Joe Biden has stated that the US will have enough vaccines to vaccinate all adults by May.
With Covid cases decreasing monthly, it is expected that further trials will resume in these two countries.