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Clinical Trials Innovation

How the big players dominate clinical trial starts


The 20 most active clinical trial sponsors and collaborators were responsible for nearly a quarter of all Phase I-III new clinical trial starts in 2016, new research from Trialtrove reveals.

Overall, more than 6,000 clinical trials investigating at least one drug were begun last year, with just over half testing an unapproved primary drug, and cancer dominating the landscape, the review, 2016 Clinical Trials Roundup: The Next Generation, found.

This report explores which companies dominated new trial starts, the phase those trials were started at and the locations of the trials.

Download the full report that originally appeared on Scrip here.


Further analysis of the data shows that big players like AstraZeneca PLC headed the list with Merck & Co. Inc. and Johnson & Johnson in second and third spots (see chart below). But a company new to the list edged into the top 20 – Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co. Ltd., the largest ethical pharmaceutical company in China. "Jiangsu Hengrui, which gained approval of apatinib in late-stage gastric cancer in 2014, initiated the same volume of Phase I to III research in 2016 as Bayer and Daiichi Sankyo," the report said.

Phase I trial starts dominated for 12 of the top 20 companies, including J&J, which started the largest volume of early-stage research.

Four companies' efforts were focused mainly on Phase II, led by Merck & Co, while three made most of their new study efforts at the Phase III stage – AbbVie Inc., Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk AS. The majority of AbbVie's Phase III starts involved unapproved drugs, while Sanofi and Novo Nordisk started a larger number of studies with approved rather than investigational drugs.

Download the full article that originally appeared on Scrip here.

About Alex Shimmings - Alexandra has more than 20 years' experience covering pharmaceutical and biotech R&D.  Now Scrip's Managing Editor, Alex has held a variety of roles on the publication since starting as a science reporter in 1998. 

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