COVID-19 disrupted clinical trials with suspended enrollment more likely to resume, says GlobalData

The number of total disrupted clinical trials has begun to fall since June, however, only trials that suspended enrollment have been on a downward trajectory, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Brooke Wilson, Associate Director, Trials Intelligence at GlobalData, comments: “Trials that had already initiated enrollment before the pandemic – having already chosen sites and investigators but had to suspend due to COVID-19 – are having more success picking up where they left off, as long as enrollment wasn’t impacted.”

The majority of trial disruptions are currently due to the suspension of enrollment, followed by slow enrollment, and delayed initiation. Trials that delayed initiation have remained steady, while those that have been impacted by slow enrollment have continued to increase.

Wilson continues: “Within the category of trials currently affected by slow enrollment, one-tenth are specifically due to the availability of sites and investigators. Many hospitals that serve as trial sites were inundated with COVID-19 patients and may still not be available. For that same reason, many investigators may be repurposed to COVID-19 drug discovery trials or treating COVID-19 patients, or the activation of sites for non-COVID-19 trials is being deprioritized.”

As the number of trials that have been impacted by slow enrollment has increased by 13.9%, this seems to continue to be an issue. Trials that have delayed initiation altogether have also increased by 10% compared to last month.

Wilson concludes, “Besides the issue just mentioned, 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 not willing to enroll in a clinical trial.”

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