The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into plans for hundreds of clinical trials seeking therapies for diseases beyond Covid-19. But some investigators and sponsors are trying to push ahead, tailoring ways to keep patients enrolled while keeping them safe and to ensure the trial can still produce rigorous evidence of whether or not a drug works.
“The problem that we all want to avoid is that despite our best efforts, the results from a given clinical trial will turn out to be so incomplete or unreliable as to make them uninterpretable,” Pfizer chief medical officer Mace Rothenberg said during a webinar last week.
Both patients and drug companies have an interest in continuing with trials for cancer drugs, as long as it can be done safely, said panelists on the webinar, which was hosted by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. Some patients have not seen benefits from approved drugs, so the therapies in these studies often serve as their best option. And companies don’t want to lose out on getting data from an investment they’ve already made.