Resumed clinical trials will steadily increase with rollout of three main COVID-19 vaccines

With the expected decrease in monthly COVID-19 cases due to increasing vaccinations in countries such as the US and the UK, leading data and analytics company GlobalData expects clinical trials to resume more quickly in these countries.

Priya Nair, Analyst, Trials Intelligence Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Since early March 2020, more than 500 companies have publicly announced disruptions to their planned and ongoing clinical trials due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the global rollout of three main COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Moderna, and the latest approval for Johnson & Johnson, active cases of COVID-19 worldwide are decreasing steadily and this has led to a very slight, steady increase in clinical trial activity.”

As of February 22, 2021, the number of resumed trials has increased to 955. Out of these trials, 68.3% are currently recruiting participants, 14.0% have completed recruitment but are still ongoing, and 0.4% of trials have yet to start recruiting subjects. The US has the highest number of resumed trials at 70.2%, followed by the UK at 9.3%, Spain at 7.0%, France at 6.9%, and Germany at 6.5%.

Nair continues: “Initially, the general trend showed a gradual increase in the overall percentage of trials for each trial status, the biggest of which has been seen in ongoing, recruiting trials and ongoing, not recruiting trials. However, between January 25 and February 22, ongoing, recruiting trials decreased further from 71.9% to 68.3%, and completed trials increased from 12.8% to 14.0%.”

The majority of trial disruptions can be attributed to patient safety measures, strict lockdown requirements, social distancing procedures, and the high demand on medical professionals to treat COVID-19 patients. Many companies have delayed the initiation of planned trials or withdrawn them completely, and others have suspended enrollment in their ongoing trials or terminated the trials altogether.

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