Over the years, Clinical Trials have been carried out in various fields of research to find a remedy for diseases or research in particular therapeutic areas. Clinical trials have been one of the most researched areas in terms of medical research and development. In our previous blog, “Clinical Trials And Their Evolution”, we studied important trends and drew varied insights into clinical trials performed over the past decade.
In this blog, we will be looking at the details of a few trends and try to decode why the trends were what they were.
- We saw a significant increase in the number of trials in the last three years, where the average number of trials conducted increased from 1.5k to around 2.5k per year.
- The major reason is the convergence of tech with the healthcare sector resulting in increasing studies and more trials being conducted. With the emergence of AI and modern technological advancements, the entire process, right from patient recruitment to adherence monitoring and data collection, has become more efficient, thereby making it easy for any new drug or device to reach patients effectively.
- Additionally, promising results of trials have increased the confidence in the pharma companies to invest more, especially in particular therapeutic areas. This justifies the 3.5x growth in investments in pharmaceutical companies, and for the first time, it crossed $1 billion to touch $1.69 billion from January to September 2020.
- This has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of trials being conducted in the past years.
- Oncology is the most researched area because of the large population affected. More than 1.7 million new instances of cancer are reported every year in the United States, as per the American Cancer Institute.
- Additionally, there are significant drugs available for most diseases in other therapeutic areas which inspires more research in Oncology.
- Cardiology follows Oncology as the second most researched area. This can be considered by the fact that around 610,000 people die in the United States every year due to heart disease.
- This demands more research in the area and is well supported by the number of studies being carried out.
- Over 16.18k trials were conducted for diseases related to immunology over the past decade. Numbers suggest that around 5-7% of the Western population is affected by diseases related to the immune system.
- In recent times immunology has been in the talks due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, due to which a focus shift towards immunology was observed. This justifies the sharp rise in the trials in the past 2 years.
- The growing prevalence of various blood diseases such as anaemia, myeloma, leukaemia, and sickle cell anaemia has led researchers to focus on various detection processes.
- As demand for conducting a diagnosis of these diseases is becoming the need of the hour, haematologists are looking for better treatment processes through accurate diagnosis. This justifies the Hematology being 4th most researched area.
- Our continuously changing lifestyle has led to an increase in ailments such as Diabetes, Obesity, and others related to Endocrine System. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 30.3 Million Americans, including those diagnosed and undiagnosed, have diabetes, and around 42.7% of the population prevails in obesity.
- This indicates the seriousness of the topic and hence explains the emphasis being given to the therapy area.
We conclude that the need for more research in a particular therapy area combined with increasing collaborations of new emerging technology and the healthcare sector has led to an increase in the efficacy of the clinical trials while a decrease in the average amount of time and resources being used, which in turn has lead to the rapid increase in the number of trials being conducted. Factors such as changing lifestyle affected patients, and the number of deaths influenced the top 5 researched therapeutic areas.