Since COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), the peak in total number of clinical trials for the virus was seen in the month of April 2020. However, there has since been a steady decrease in new clinical trial investigations, except for the months of December 2020 and March 2021. As companies and organizations continue to test both vaccines and therapeutics, the total number for each are showing different trends, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
COVID-19 clinical trials using vaccines continue to increase, with the number of clinical trials peaking in the month of March 2021 with 89 trials. December 2020 saw the second most clinical trials and the third quarter of 2020 saw the most for any quarter from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.
In response to COVID-19, there was a surge in therapeutics in an attempt to find a treatment, but as there are a number of vaccines available now, COVID-19 clinical trials using therapeutics has since decreased over time. The number of clinical trials peaked in April 2020, with 445 clinical trials, while February 2021 saw the least number of clinical trials since the beginning of the pandemic with only 80 trials. Lastly, the first quarter of 2021 also saw a decrease compared to the same time in 2020.
Scotty Chung-Siu, MPH, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The upward trend for vaccine COVID-19 clinical trials is expected to continue due to the same approved vaccines testing against new variants of the virus. On the other hand, the decrease in therapeutic COVID-19 clinical trials may be due to the increase in availability of vaccines as well as the negative data in clinical trials from some therapeutics, such as hydroxychloroquine.”