Clinical trials disrupted by COVID-19 are slowly resuming

The COVID-19 pandemic has been disrupting clinical trials globally, but as countries reopen, these trials are now resuming. As of 28th May, over 130 COVID-19 disrupted clinical trials were resuming, with the US leading the way in the number of trials resumed by site locations at 69% of the resumed trials, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Priya Nair, Analyst, Trials Intelligence at GlobalData, comments: “According to GlobalData’s Clinical Trials Database, of the 130 resumed trials, as of 28th May, 77% were ongoing and recruiting participants; 17% were ongoing but not recruiting; and 3.7% were completed. The US had the highest number of resumed trials by site location, at 69.1%, followed by France at 12%, the UK at 6.8%, Spain at 6.4%, and Germany at 5.5%.

“In order to combat lockdown measures and social distancing obstacles, many sponsors must implement stricter and alternative measures to previous trial guidelines to ensure patient safety. Sponsors must ensure that in-person trials that are beginning to resume have a new set of measures, including frequent COVID-19 testing, increased cleaning of trial sites, making sure there is an availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), and ideally providing participants with suitable transportation methods to and from the trial site.

“This may have a direct implication on trial cost, as resuming a trial may be more costly to the sponsor due to increased precautionary measures. Companies are reviewing alternative approaches by using remote measures and virtual clinical trials, which aim to bring the study directly to the patient via online data collection and video call progress checks.”

As countries come out of lockdown, GlobalData expects more clinical trials to resume—though it is possible that future outbreaks could cause further obstacles.

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