State of clinical research in Germany through COVID-19

We asked sponsors, study sites and patients on the Implications on clinical research from COVID-19. These are the results

Local patient recruitment vs global patient recruitment

Status of clinical research in Germany and COVID-19. There has never been something similar in the recent history in a globalized such as an epidemic. People are being quarantined and asked to stay home. Entire countries are shutting down bringing the public life as we now it to an end.
As one of the leading patient platforms in Germany we one the one hand experience first-hands the economic downturn and the worsening climate but on the other hand wanted to get a comprehensive understanding on how clinical research is being perceived and what subject matter experts think about the current developments. So we set forth and decided to conduct a survey about the state of clinical research and by asking patients, study sites and sponsors, our goal was to get a detailed picture by each stakeholder on how they perceive clinical research regarding the recent developments. Over 1,200 patients, 50 study sites and 25 sponsors have participated and enabled us to share those insights with the broader clinical research community.

Willingness to participate in a clinical trial

COVID-19 likelihood of patients to participate in a clinical research trial
  • There seems to be no change in willingness of patients to participate in a clinical trial by the more than 1.300 patients we have asked

  • 55% of all patients see no change in the current willingness to participate in a trial and 58% don’t see any change in the future

  • Study sites and sponsors seem to think quite similar to patients. 44% of all sponsors and 59% don’t think that the willingness of patients to participate in a clinical trial will change due to the current developments

  • However, 44% of all sponsors asked still think that the willingness will even decrease

COVID-19 Willingness of patients to participate in a clinical research trial

Status of current trials

COVID-19 Status of current trials
  • More than 1/3 of all trials have already been stopped by sponsors

  • 63% of all sponsors have made some sort of changes to ongoing trials.

  • Interestingely, most study sites don’t see the same sort of changes being made

COVID-19 average trial interruption
  • Both sponsors and study sites see a delay of at least 2 months in their ongoing trials

  • Sponsors see a 50% longer delay in the trials than the sites currently see

Implications on patient recruitment and retention

COVID-19 Impact on patient recruitment
  • Sponsors and study sites estimate both that COVID-19 will have a severe impact on their patient recruitment efforts

  • Only 6% of all sites don’t see COVID-19 having close to none impact to patient recruitment

  • Some sponsors (37%) but only a few sites (26%) seem to have some challenges in keeping already randomized patients active in their trials

COVID-19 Impact on patient retention

Status of upcoming trials

COVID-19 Willingness to start new trials
  • A third of all participants don’t see having COVID-19 any impact on their upcoming projects

  • Nearly half of all study sites asked don’t initiate any new projects right now

COVID-19 Delay of new trials
  • New projects will be delayed by more than 3 months and this could even be increased depending on the further measurements coming from the government

These numbers and the current state of clinical research in Germany are to be understood as a snapshot and a status quo. As there are rapid developments in all areas across the country the numbers and the assessments of the clinical research experts can change at any time. A similar situation like that has never been here before so it is great to see that everyone is moving cautiously forward and that patients have not changed their mind when it comes to clinical trial participation

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