Oncology is the top therapeutic area for clinical trials planned to start in 2020, making up 31.8% of planned trials for the year, reports GlobalData, a data and analytics company, in a press release. After oncology, the next most common therapeutic areas for trials are those involving the central nervous system (17.7%), infectious disease (9.8%), and cardiovascular conditions (7.8%).

Among the top indications that will be studied, 70% were for oncology, which include solid tumor (3.77%), breast cancer (3.55%), non-small cell lung cancer (2.39%), melanoma (2.12%), pancreatic cancer (1.98%), and acute myelocytic leukemia (1.84%); 1.71% of trials are for an unspecified type of cancer.

GlobalData also reported that most trials planned for the year — that is, 61.9% — are sponsored by industry, with Eli Lilly and Novartis having the most trials planned. Within each of the top oncology indications, most trials were sponsored by industry. 

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“In oncology, a majority of the studies are in phase 1 and phase 2,” Mohamed Abukar, pharmaceutical analyst at GlobalData, commented in a press release. “A large number of early-stage clinical trials within this field are likely to be due to the demand for novel therapeutic approaches addressing unmet medical need which can be achieved through investigations in the clinical setting.”

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Additional insights gleaned by GlobalData for 2020 include the United States being the most common location for trial initiation, monoclonal antibodies making up 4 of the top 7 non-marketed drugs, and the majority of trials being in phase 2. Also, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has the most non–industry-sponsored trials — and Novartis, the most industry-sponsored trials — with target completion dates in 2020.


GlobalData. Oncology dominates clinical trials activity in 2020, says GlobalData [news release]. Published February 13, 2020. Accessed March 4, 2020.