Report: China leads the way with phase 1 studies

clinical trial research

Novotech, an Asia Pacific biotech CRO, has published a new global report on phase 1 trial activity including current metrics on fast growth regions and therapeutic areas. 

The data analysis found that Asia Pacific has been the fastest-growing region for phase 1 clinical trials in the last 10 years, reaching a share of 58% in 2022, with China leading phase 1 trials globally.

The new report, Phase I Global Clinical Trial Landscape – Focus on Asia Pacific, says that there were approximately 3,600 phase I trials initiated globally.

The report found that Asia Pacific has been the fastest growing region for phase 1 trials in the last ten years with a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%. 

“Between 2018 and 2022, the region has had consistent performance and has been maintaining its majority share since 2018, with a peak of 61% share achieved in the year 2021,” the report said.

China, Australia, South Korea, Japan and India were the top five Asian locations, and together contribute more than  50% of the global phase 1 trials. One of the key reasons why Asia Pacific is in demand is that it has the shortest patient enrolment duration and fastest recruitment rate.

The report found that Asia Pacific also leads phase I trials across the top therapeutic areas.

Oncology, infectious disease, CNS, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders are the top therapeutic areas for phase I trials across the top Asian locations of China, Australia, South Korea, Japan and India. Of all the five locations put together, China occupies the major share (more than 80%) of phase 1 trials in all the top therapeutic areas considered together.

The latest data also shows Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region globally for cell and gene therapy trials representing more than a third of all cell & gene studies, with China leading in the region.  APAC already accounts for more than a third of cell and gene therapy trial activity and shows a nearly 50% faster growth rate in trials compared to the rest of the world between 2016 and 2021. 

After oncology, the majority of cell & gene trials are in infectious diseases, CNS, and cardiovascular diseases. 

APAC is also the leading area globally for CAR-T trials with China attracting around 60% of all CAR-T trials globally between 2015 and 2022. 

Novotech recently acquired EastHORN, a European CRO with clinical, medical and regulatory expertise in multiple strategically important locations across the continent. The acquisition is part of Novotech’s global expansion program in Europe and the U.S.

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