Coronavirus puts Chinese clinical trials in jeopardy

Feb. 12, 2020

China’s booming pharma industry is beginning to run into roadblocks created by the country’s ongoing battle against a novel coronavirus. 

There are currently an estimated 500 clinical trials underway in China that are utilizing health care facilities in Wuhan, the center of the viral outbreak. An ongoing travel lockdown in the city has made it difficult for patients to reach hospitals and when they do, the shift towards treating coronavirus patients has stalled some clinical trials.

The struggle against the new coronavirus — which is now being called COVID-19 — has also delayed the launch of studies for new drugs, including a Novartis treatment for a rare blood disorder.

According to Reuters, several major pharma companies with operations in China, including BeiGene, have said that it’s still too soon to speculate on just how hard the industry will be hit by these delays. But most major pharma companies have made major investments in clinical trials in China in order to leverage the access to the country’s large patient pool.

Read the full Reuters report.