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February 9, 2022updated 18 Feb 2022 4:46pm

Global clinical trials activity increases 0.9% YoY in Q4 2021

By Carmen

Global clinical trials activity increased by 0.9% in Q4 2021, when compared with the same quarter in 2020, according to GlobalData.

Industry sponsored trials accounted for a 57.5% share of overall activity in Q4 2021, an increase of 5.0% when compared with Q4 2020.

Non-industry sponsored trials accounted for a 42.5% share of all clinical trials in Q4 2021, marking a decrease of 5.0% when compared with the same period in 2020.

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Q4 2021 industry sponsored clinical trials activity by therapy areas

Oncology was the leading therapy area for industry sponsored clinical trials in Q4 2021, accounting for a 31.2% share of all trials.

This was followed by Infectious Disease with a 15.0% share, Central Nervous System with 13.7%, Gastrointestinal with 7.2% and Cardiovascular with 6.3%.

In Q4 2020, Oncology led with a 27.2% share, followed by Infectious Disease with 19.3%, Central Nervous System with 13.2%, Metabolic Disorders with 8.3%, and Cardiovascular with 7.0%.

Industry sponsored trials: Q4 2021 vs Q4 2020
Therapy Area Q4 2020 Q4 2021 Activity
Oncology 27.2% 31.2% Increase
Infectious Disease 19.3% 15.0% Decrease
Central Nervous System 13.2% 13.7% Increase
Gastrointestinal 5.9% 7.2% Increase
Cardiovascular 7.0% 6.3% Decrease
Immunology 5.7% 6.3% Increase
Metabolic Disorders 8.3% 6.0% Decrease
Respiratory 6.7% 5.3% Decrease
Dermatology 4.4% 4.7% Increase
Musculoskeletal Disorders 4.1% 3.5% Decrease
Hematological Disorders 3.0% 3.4% Increase
Ophthalmology 3.2% 3.1% Decrease
Genetic Disorders 1.8% 2.6% Increase
Genito Urinary System And Sex Hormones 2.5% 2.4% Decrease
Women’s Health 2.0% 1.8% Decrease
Ear Nose Throat Disorders 1.1% 1.3% Increase
Hormonal Disorders 0.5% 0.6% Increase
Male Health 0.7% 0.5% Decrease
Mouth and Dental Disorders 0.7% 0.4% Decrease
Non Malignant Disorders 0.2% 0.2% Decrease
Nutritional Disorders 0.5% 0.1% Decrease

Most active therapy areas in non-industry sponsored clinical trials

In Q4 2021 the leading therapy area for non-industry sponsored clinical trials was Oncology, accounting for a 25.5% share of all trials.

This was followed Central Nervous System with a 25.1% share, Infectious Disease with 12.7%, Cardiovascular with 9.0%, and Gastrointestinal with 6.3%.

In Q4 2020, Oncology held the lead in non-industry sponsored clinical trials with a 23.4% share, followed by Central Nervous System with 21.7%, Infectious Disease with 16.2%, Cardiovascular with 9.7%, and Gastrointestinal with 7.7%.

Non-Industry sponsored trials: Q4 2021 vs Q4 2020
Therapy Area Q4 2020 Q4 2021 Activity
Oncology 23.4% 25.5% Increase
Central Nervous System 21.7% 25.1% Increase
Infectious Disease 16.2% 12.7% Decrease
Cardiovascular 9.7% 9.0% Decrease
Gastrointestinal 7.7% 6.3% Decrease
Metabolic Disorders 6.1% 5.1% Decrease
Musculoskeletal Disorders 5.1% 4.4% Decrease
Women’s Health 4.5% 4.4% Decrease
Respiratory 5.0% 4.3% Decrease
Hematological Disorders 3.0% 3.4% Increase
Immunology 2.9% 3.4% Increase
Dermatology 3.1% 2.5% Decrease
Genito Urinary System And Sex Hormones 3.1% 2.3% Decrease
Mouth and Dental Disorders 2.1% 2.2% Increase
Ophthalmology 1.8% 1.9% Increase
Ear Nose Throat Disorders 0.9% 1.0% Increase
Genetic Disorders 0.6% 0.8% Increase
Male Health 0.5% 0.6% Increase
Hormonal Disorders 0.9% 0.5% Decrease
Nutritional Disorders 0.8% 0.5% Decrease
Non Malignant Disorders 0.5% 0.3% Decrease

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 2021 with a 46.9% share, compared with 53.0% in Q4 2020.

North America was the second most active region with a 36.1% share in Q4 2021, up from 32.5% in Q4 2020, followed by Europe with a 30.4% share in Q4 2021, up from 28.8% in Q4 2020.

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Single country studies held an 84.0% share in industry sponsored clinical trials in Q4 2021, compared with 82.8% in Q4 2020. Multinational trials accounted for 16.0% in Q4 2021, against 17.2% in Q4 2020.

Regional activity for non-industry sponsored clinical trials

Asia-Pacific saw the most non-industry sponsored clinical trial activity in Q4 2021 with a 43.5% share, down from 52.0% in Q4 2020.

North America held the second position with a 25.2% share in Q4 2021, compared with 17.8% in Q4 2020. This was followed by Middle East and Africa with a 16.2% share in Q4 2021, as against 15.4% in Q4 2020.

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Single country studies accounted for 98.6% share of non-industry sponsored clinical trials in Q4 2021, compared with 98.7% in Q4 2020. Multinational trials accounted for a 1.4% share in Q4 2021, up from 1.3% in Q4 2020.

Clinical trials by phase in Q4 2021

Phase II trials outnumbered all other studies with a 38.6% share for industry sponsored trials in Q4 2021, compared with 34.2% in Q4 2020.

The share of Phase I trials stood at 33.4% in Q4 2021, down from 36.8% in Q4 2020. Phase III trials increased to 18.1% in Q4 2021, compared with 17.9% in Q4 2020, followed by Phase IV trials with a 9.8% share in Q4 2021, against 11.1% in Q4 2020.

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For non-industry sponsored clinical trials, Phase II activity decreased to a 41.7% share in Q4 2021, compared with 45.3% in Q4 2020.

Phase IV trials were the second most active with a 22.1% share in Q4 2021, compared with 19.5% in Q4 2020. Phase I trials held an 18.3% share in Q4 2021, against 16.5% in Q4 2020, followed by Phase III trials with a 17.9% share in Q4 2021, over 18.7% in Q4 2020.

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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.

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