Clinical Research In Emerging Markets - How Much In Asia And What Diseases

Applied Clinical Trials

KMR Group

There is much being written on the importance of emerging markets for clinical research, but it is difficult to accurately gauge how much activity is actually taking place, and, more specifically, in what disease areas.  In this analysis we set forth answers to these questions with respect to one region, Asia, relying on the KMR Group clinical dataset1 as a resource.

The global assessment reveals the primary source of subjects for interventional clinical trials continues to be North America and Western Europe at more than two thirds.  Emerging markets2 constitute 29% of patients in recent studies; Asia (excluding Japan) alone makes up 6%.  Within Asia, the top country is China, followed by India and South Korea.


The most popular disease areas within Asia are: Diabetes, Thrombosis, Coronary Disease, and Lung Cancer (non-small cell). When viewing where subjects are randomized for each of these, China does not always rank first. More than 40% of Diabetes patients are from India, for example, as are almost half of all Coronary patients. Taiwan contributes 13% of Lung Cancer patients but China ranks highest at 40%.

As companies continue to pursue clinical research in emerging markets, it can be helpful to understand the environment in more quantitative terms, such as what type of research is being performed, to what extent and in which disease areas.  In addition, other factors such as cost, regulatory environment, patient access, and performance, should all be weighed in the equation. 

For a more thorough evaluation of emerging markets, including performance information such as recruitment rates and site performance statistics, companies can refer to the KMR Group Emerging Markets Performance Study; for site based performance statistics in emerging markets, there is Site Scorecard.  For determining where to best to place studies for particular diseases, consult the Best Places for Clinical Research series.

– KMR Group, https://kmrgroup.com

  • KMR Clinical Program Data – KMR’s clinical program contains data from 19 mid to large size biopharmaceutical companies on global clinical trials.  The set comprises over 17,000 clinical trials and 200,000 sites.  The information is collected directly from biopharmaceutical companies and undergoes a rigorous query process before the data is deemed acceptable for purposes of assessment. 

  •  Emerging markets means Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Middle East.