The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives in many different ways. How has this pandemic affected clinical trials?

Clinical trials in the Rare Disease space are, by definition, rare. Have the few trials that were scheduled for this year gone ahead? Or has COVID-19 wiped out all activity in this important area?

We looked at the number of clinical trials on Rare Diseases to see what effect COVID-19 has had. If you are interested in the technical details of the infographic above, they are posted at our sister site

Rare Disease trials are shown on the blue axis on the left, COVID-19 trials are on the orange axis on the right. There are a small number of Rare Disease trials that are also looking at COVID-19 and these are shown in light blue on top of the Rare Disease trial data.

There is obviously huge numbers of COVID-19 trials that started this year: almost 2000 in the second quarter of 2020. The most trials in Rare Diseases in a single quarter is about 80!

The data show that COVID-19 has certainly not “wiped out” clinical trial activity in Rare Diseases. We see similar numbers in 2020 as in previous years. Perhaps the growth in trial activity has slowed, but encouragingly, trial activity is going ahead despite the COVID-19 pandemic.


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