Covid-19 is an unprecedented event that has impacted nearly every aspect of businesses around the world, and while the pharma industry is being tapped to help bring out an effective treatment against the pandemic at the earliest, like others, the sector has also been subject to the brutal impact of the pandemic. Ongoing clinical trials are expected to face delays with disruptions to trial enrolment, data collection, and data analysis. The objective of this overview is to provide a brief synopsis of the impact of the pandemic on clinical trials evaluating various neurology indications.

According to GlobalData’s Intelligence Center, a total of 81 trials with a definite neurology indication were identified as those impacted by the pandemic as of 15 April. Of these trials, indications related to pain and mental health are the most dominant, with the former accounting for 21% and the latter accounting for 19%. For the purpose of simplifying the representation, mental health indications here include those related to depression, psychiatric disorders, psychosis, schizophrenia, and other unspecified disorders. Clinical trials evaluating various forms of addiction such as those related to alcohol, opium, and nicotine also feature in the top three neurology indications, accounting for 11% of trials impacted by the crisis. A breakdown of these trials impacted by Covid-19 is shown in Figure 1.

The aforementioned dataset from GlobalData also reveals that of the trials that are impacted, 59% are sponsored by industry, while the remainder are driven by academic institutes. A combination of lockdown measures, as well as the need to re-prioritise existing healthcare resources in a hospital setting especially to focus on Covid-19 patients, are essential steps being taken in order to combat the virus. From an industry perspective, companies are needing to adapt their clinical trials in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines and to ensure that risks to clinical trial participants are minimised during such operations.