Clinical trials impacted by slow enrolment

The surge in new variants for Covid-19 and an increase in subsequent cases is continuing to have an impact on clinical trials, while still allowing them to resume. The total number of disrupted trials has levelled off, but the number of clinical trials that have resumed continues to rise, although somewhat slower than the initial rise. GlobalData suggests 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.

Brooke Wilson, Associate Director, Trials Intelligence at GlobalData, said: “Since June 2020, the number of total disrupted trials has been falling slowly; however, this levelled off in October 2020. The majority of current trial disruptions are due to trials impacted by slow enrolment, which continue to gradually increase. Trials impacted by enrolment suspension, as well as delayed initiation have been on a downward trajectory. This suggests trials that had initiated enrolment 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 when enrolment wasn’t impacted.”

Methods that could help start or sustain research include virtual visits, phone interviews, self-administration, and remote monitoring. These suggestions could help trials that are being met with subject quarantine and travel limitations, clinical site closures, and interrupted supply chains, especially trials that delayed initiation and trials that have been impacted by slow enrolment.

Image credit: Timon Studler

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