Coronavirus brings clinical trials to a halt

March 24, 2020

Several Big Pharma companies are putting the brakes on upcoming clinical trials to free up health care staff that may be needed to fight the coronavirus.

Companies including Eli Lilly and Bristol Myers Squibb said they will delay the start of any new trials, unless it relates to treatments or vaccines for COVID-19. 

Last week, the FDA issued new recommendations for drugmakers who chose to go ahead with clinical trials, urging companies to modify protocols so that patients can participate virtually via phone calls or virtual clinic visits.

Some companies, including Lilly, are still conducting with some of their late-stage trials for now. According to BioMedTracker, there are currently more than 120 phase 3 trials underway that are expected to create top-line data by the end of the year. Some of the trials include potential blockbusters such as an asthma medication being developed by Amgen and AstraZeneca. But as many companies say they are making decisions about their trials on a case-by-case basis, it’s difficult to tell how coronavirus-related delays are going to impact the progress of these trials this year. 

Read the Reuters report.