1 Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine.
2 Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Registration of interventional trials of Food and Drug Administration-regulated drug and biological products and devices became a legal requirement in 2007; the vast majority of these trials are registered in ClinicalTrials.gov. An analysis of ClinicalTrials.gov offers an opportunity to define the clinical research landscape; here we analyze 10 years of infectious disease (ID) clinical trial research.
Beginning with 166 415 interventional trials registered in ClinicalTrials.gov from 2007-2017, ID trials were selected by study conditions and interventions. Relevance to ID was confirmed through manual review, resulting in 13 707 ID trials and 152 708 non-ID trials.
ID-related trials represented 6.9%-9.9% of all trials with no significant trend over time. ID trials tended to be more focused on treatment and prevention, with a focus on testing drugs, biologics, and vaccines. ID trials tended to be large, randomized, and nonblinded with a greater degree of international enrollment. Industry was the primary funding source for 45.2% of ID trials. Compared with the global burden of disease, human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS and hepatitis C trials were overrepresented, and lower respiratory tract infection trials were underrepresented. Hepatitis C trials fluctuated, keeping with a wave of new drug development. Influenza vaccine trials peaked during the 2009 H1N1 swine influenza outbreak.
This study presents the most comprehensive characterization of ID clinical trials over the past decade. These results help define how clinical research aligns with clinical need. Temporal trends reflect changes in disease epidemiology and the impact of scientific discovery and market forces. Periodic review of ID clinical trials can help identify gaps and serve as a mechanism to realign resources.