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Lilly halts most clinical trials as coronavirus disruption continues

Will continue ongoing trials for patients who are already enrolled

Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly has taken the decision to delay most of its new studies and halt enrolment in most of its ongoing studies as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the daily lives of millions around the world.

Although Lilly is suspending the large majority of its clinical trials, it is still continuing its ongoing clinical trials for patients who are already enrolled.

The decision is unsurprising given the scale of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a number of countries announcing strict lockdown measures for their citizens in a bid to control the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.

That includes having a major affect on global healthcare systems, with hospitals across the world having to restructure and reprioritise as the virus threatens to overwhelm capacity.

The pandemic has also had an affect on research laboratories, which have been repurposed for testing for possible COVID-19 cases.

Lilly has already partnered with the India State Department of Health to accelerate coronavirus testing – samples from Indiana healthcare facilities will be sent to the company’s specialised research labs for analysis.

“In the interest of helping to ensure patient safety and minimising further stress on the system, Lilly has decided to take several proactive steps in regard to our clinical trial activities around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Tim Garnett, Lilly’s chief medical officer.

“By delaying most new study starts and pausing enrolment of new patients or healthy volunteers in most ongoing studies, we hope to ease the burden on participating healthcare facilities and allow physicians to focus more of their efforts on combatting COVID-19," he added.

Despite suspending a number of studies, Lilly has maintained that it does not expect to change its 2020 financial guidance as a result of the pandemic.

Lilly is also not anticipating that it will need to make any adjustments to its timelines for ongoing late-stage studies, with the exception of mirikizumab’s gastrointestinal indications.

“Lilly recognises that for patients already enrolled in clinical trials, discontinuation would disrupt their treatment and potentially diminish the societal value of the research information to which they are contributing. Therefore, we will maintain ongoing studies, but with study-by-study consideration," said Garnett.

Biotech company Galapagos also announced last week that is has also postponed multiple studies of its experimental, Gilead-partnered drug filgotinib, which is currently in a range of late-stage studies for several autoimmune diseases.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

24th March 2020

From: Research

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