Asia Pacific As A Clinical Trials Powerhouse
By Dr Annie Siu, PhD, MBA, APAC Content Director, Citeline, and Andy Benson, MSc, Senior Director, Trialtrove
It is often said that “disease knows no borders,” but is the same true for clinical development?
Patient availability is a critical component for clinical trials, and so it stands to reason that clinical development should match the epidemiology of diseases. Of course, this is often not the case, with longstanding biases towards studies in the US and Europe, where healthcare infrastructure and the pharmaceutical market are generally more mature. However, change is underway.
This whitepaper takes a deep dive into the clinical trial landscape in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region over the past decade, from 2012 to 2021. It shows that during this time period, APAC has become a hotspot for clinical trials, with trial activity trending upwards and eventually contributing almost half of the entire global clinical trial activity in 2021. Interestingly, each APAC location has its own driving forces and unique differentiators. Utilizing the gold-standard clinical trial intelligence database Trialtrove, this new analysis delves into the sponsors, diseases, and types of trials across the APAC region, and considers the factors shaping the present-day landscape in those APAC locations with the highest overall trial activity.
As we navigate through the data, it is important to note three things. Firstly, Trialtrove is focused on drug clinical trials with a prospective time perspective. Other types of studies, for example those evaluating devices, surgical, or behavioral interventions, or based on retrospective data, are not part of this analysis. Secondly, trial start numbers are limited to those for which an actual start date is provided in the public domain (i.e. we excluded trials listed as planned and never confirmed to have started, or for which a specific actual start date was never disclosed). The numbers for recent years may also be impacted by delayed reporting of trial activity. Thirdly, we are considering the APAC region to consist of the locations classified into the “Asia” and “Australia/Oceania” Trial Regions in Trialtrove.
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