Market Insight from
Covid-19 disruption to trials declines, but recruitment is slow
Since early March, around 1,000 organisations supporting clinical trials as a sponsor, collaborator or contract research organisation (CRO) have publically announced disruptions to planned and ongoing clinical trials in their press releases, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings and clinical trial registries, as well as on social media.
Companies have delayed the initiation of planned trials or withdrawn them completely, have suspended enrollment in ongoing trials or have terminated these trials. GlobalData dynamically tracks these disrupted trials and organisations, along with trials that have resumed activity since disruption.
A timeline of clinical trial disrupted due to Covid-19. Source: GlobalData
Since June, the number of total disrupted trials has been falling slowly. The majority of current trial disruptions are now due to trials impacted by slow enrollment, which continue to increase.
Trials impacted by enrollment suspension have been on a downward trajectory, while clinical trials that delayed initiation have remained steady. This suggests trials that had initiated enrollment before the pandemic with chosen sites and investigators, but then suspended due to Covid-19, are having more success picking up where they left off as long as enrollment wasn’t impacted.
Within the category of trials currently affected by slow enrollment, one-tenth of these are specifically due to the unavailability of sites and investigators.
Many hospitals that serve as trial sites were inundated with Covid-19 patients and may still not be available; likewise, many investigators may have been reassigned to Covid-19 drug discovery trials or treating Covid-19 patients and the activation of sites for non-Covid-19 trials is being deprioritised. As the number of trials that have been impacted by slow enrollment continues to increase, this continues to be an issue.
There is also a high risk to subjects in a clinical trial who have a serious chronic or acute condition that affects their immune system, giving them a greater chance of contracting Covid-19 and making them unwilling to enroll in a clinical trial.
For pharmaceutical industry data, comment and analysis, visit GlobalData's Pharmaceuticals Intelligence Centre.