Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Pipeline and Clinical Trial Analysis - April 2020
The biopharmaceutical industry has risen to meet the challenge posed by this novel virus: hundreds of companies across the globe have entered the race to develop a treatment and a preventive vaccine. While the industry has shown its mettle by immediately initiating research on agents for COVID-19, the progress of R&D in general has been adversely impacted, with delays in clinical trial timelines and regulatory decisions across disease areas.
Over the coming months, as trial data readouts become available, frontrunners will emerge in both the therapeutic and preventive categories. Currently, the therapeutics space is dominated by candidates already approved for other disease indications; one of these products, an IL-6 inhibitor already marketed for an immunology indication, is well positioned to win the first regulatory approval for COVID-19. The number of clinical trial delays has been steadily increasing throughout Q1 and into Q2 2020. As activity begins to pick up later in the year, trial sponsors might strive to make up for lost time, but the extensive delays will be difficult to overcome entirely.