70% of COVID-19 clinical trials run by non-industry sponsors, says GlobalData

At the beginning of June, more than 70% of trials were being run by non-industry sponsors, and the majority of clinical trial sponsors were based in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. As many of the drugs being evaluated are generic agents or traditional medicines, these trials are typically being run by academic or public institutions or centers, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The top sponsor for COVID-19 clinical trials was Assistance Publique – Hopitaux de Paris (AP-HP) with 23 trials in early June. AP-HP owns the largest teaching hospital in Europe, with over 39 hospitals and 20,000 beds. There were 2,677 COVID-19 patients admitted into intensive care units (ICUs) in France at the height of the pandemic, with 41% of these admitted to AP-HP.

Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, comments: “This meant there were ample patients to enroll in clinical trials with a large staff to run them, and numerous locations for recruiting patients. The size of the hospital, and a coordinated management response, allowed AP-HP to respond quickly and consistently to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Gilead was the top industry sponsor of clinical trials in COVID-19 in early June, with ongoing and completed trials of its antiviral remdesivir across Phases I–III, in patients with a range of disease severity levels.

Swanson concludes, “Gilead was well positioned for the COVID-19 pandemic as it has historically focused on small molecules for antiviral therapies. While the projected global peak sales revenue for remdesivir is $5bn in 2024, with most of the sales coming from the US, this could be impacted by the emergence of a stronger therapeutic candidate for COVID-19 or its associated acute respiratory distress syndrome.”

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