Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.
For the hundreds of thousands of people enrolling in clinical trials every year—and for whom experimental therapies can offer a last hope—a new report provides some welcome news: Enrollment in clinical studies in the United States is on the rebound after disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But a fresh surge of coronavirus cases could once again scramble studies aimed at testing disease treatments.
In June, engagement of new patients in U.S. clinical trials was down 38% compared with prepandemic levels, found the analysis released last week by Medidata, a healthcare data services company. That’s still a significant improvement from April, when U.S. enrollments were much lower: down 70% at the 1500 trial sites tracked by the firm. Some hospitals, including the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in New York City, New York University’s Langone Health, and the medical center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), have reopened almost all of their trials.