European COVID-19 clinical trials primarily focused on repurposing available therapies, says GlobalData

The phase distribution of clinical trials in Europe suggests that sponsors are focusing primarily on repurposing available therapies to treat COVID-19 and that the level of research directly correlates with the clinical need for effective therapies based on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in that country. Only 5.2% of trials have announced some form of efficacy results, which suggests the research is still in the early stages, and a continuation in global effort is required to identify effective treatments, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Mohamed Abukar, MSc, GlobalData Clinical Trials Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The greatest proportion of European COVID-19 clinical trials are in Phase II development (43.3%), narrowly outnumbering Phase III (38.4%). The number of Phase IV trials (12.6%) outnumbers Phase I studies, which account for the smallest proportion of trials (5.6%). This phase distribution suggests sponsors are focusing primarily on repurposing available therapies as opposed to working solely with investigational medicinal products (IMPs). Given the imminent threat to life posed by COVID-19, this is to be expected.

“The top six countries with the highest number of clinical trials also have the greatest number of European COVID-19 cases. The UK dominates the research space, accounting for the highest number of trials (24.5%), followed by Spain (13.2%), France (9.5%), Italy (5.3%), Russia (4.8%) and Germany (3.8%).”

Assistance Publique – Hopitaux de Paris is the top sponsor with 4.7% of European COVID-19 trials. This is more than double that of the University of Oxford, which sponsors the second largest number of trials (2.3%). Assistance Publique – Hopitaux de Paris utilizes a range of therapy types in its studies, but it appears to have a focus on monoclonal antibodies as a treatment option for COVID-19.

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