COVID-19 Disruption of Trials is in Decline


Applied Clinical Trials

After three months of increasing trial disruptions, the number of disrupted trials began to fall between June and July. Most disruption was caused by the suspension of enrollment, followed by slow enrollment, and delayed initiation, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company. 

Brooke Wilson, Associate Director, Trials Intelligence at GlobalData, comments, “Although the total number of disrupted trials is decreasing overall, of trials that listed disruption as suspension of enrollment, slow enrollment or delayed initiation as their reason for disruption, only those affected by suspended enrollment have reduced (by 17.3%) compared to last month. Meanwhile, trials with delayed initiation have risen by 10% and trials that have been impacted by slow enrollment have gone up by 13.9%. This suggests that trials that had already initiated enrollment before the pandemic, with chosen sites and investigators, but then suspended due to COVID-19, are having more success picking up where they left off as long as enrollment wasn't impacted.” 

Within the category of trials affected by slow enrollment, one-tenth are specifically due to the availability of sites and investigators. The reasons for this include that trial site hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, repurposed investigators, deprioritized non-COVID-19 trials, and high-risk subjects unwilling to enroll due to a greater chance of contracting COVID-19

Wilson continues: “Importantly, the total number of disrupted trials is falling and the number of clinical trials that have resumed has almost doubled since last month. This implies that sponsors and contract service providers have begun to adjust clinical trial design strategies and are adapting to the new post-COVID-19 environment.”

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