Resource Center: COVID-19 and Clinical Trial Operations

COVID-19 Webinar Series

Join the next COVID-19 Webinar

Our Webinar Series will continue on June 24th! Join thousands of your peers in WCG’s online panels, where clinical trial and public health experts provide the latest insights on COVID-19 and discuss the biggest questions and topics you submit.

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COVID-19 Clinical Trial Tracker

Monitor the progress of clinical trials for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, leveraging data from the WCG Knowledge Base™.

WCG COVID-19 Trial Matching Tracker


investigators matched to sponsors
for participation in COVID-19 trials

Participate in WCG’s COVID-19 Trial Matching Service:

COVID-19 Trial Matching for Institutions

COVID-19 Trial Matching for Sponsors

COVID-19 Trial Insights from the WCG Knowledge Base™

About WCG Trial Insights

The WCG Trial Insights series brings you weekly insights on trial activity throughout the COVID-19 crisis, based on the extensive services we provide to life science clients and supported by our proprietary and powerful WCG Knowledge Base™.

See all COVID-19 data analysis

WCG COVID-19 Advisory Services

Need help interpreting critical data to navigate the impact of COVID-19 on trials and sites? We leverage insights and benchmark data from the WCG Knowledge Base to guide best practices for trial performance during this unprecedented time.

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Insights from June 26

Trial Starts Lag 2019 Pace, But June Shows Signs of Rebound

From January to May 2020, monthly non-COVID-19 trial starts averaged only 71% of last year’s pace, with the biggest drop unsurprisingly occurring in April and May. During those two months, starts dropped to half of last year’s starts in the same time frame.

However, if June continues at the current pace, it will likely meet or exceed June 2019 starts. That represents not only the highest percentage gain since the COVID-19 crisis, but also the nearest to 2019 levels so far this year.

Oncology, CNS Lead Non-COVID 19 Trial Starts

Approximately 35% of non-COVID-19 industry sponsored trials planned and started in the US after May 1 are in oncology. The hastened recovery in certain therapeutic areas comes as sites and sponsors seek to address patients in need of critical care.

June Welcomes Dramatic Drop in Site Start Uncertainty

This week, 75% of sites indicated readiness to restart screening within the next four weeks – an appreciable jump since we began tracking in April. Meanwhile, only 4% are still uncertain about their timing for restarting – the lowest percentage since our surveys began, and a drop of 18 percentage points since June 9.

Enrollment Recovery Hits Highest Point Since March – With 37% of Sites Surveyed Now Open to Enrollment

WCG is tracking more than 1,400 sites in 29 countries to understand how quickly total trial enrollment is being affected during the pandemic. 37% of sites responding are now open to enrollment of new participants, up 7 percentage points from last week, and our largest percentage increase since tracking began in March.

Recent Insights from WCG

Watch Recent COVID-19 Webinars

COVID-19 Changed Everything – Now Contracts and Budgets Need to Catch Up

[6/24] As clinical trials shift quickly and necessarily from in-person to hybrid trials, remote visits, and virtual experiences and support, new opportunities and challenges emerge. While the industry figures out how to best navigate these new challenges, and much remains unresolved, we do know this: Sites and sponsors will be recalibrating everything, especially contract terms and budgets for either new components of trials or changes to clinical research. Site budgets for ongoing studies will need to be recalculated, amended and renegotiated, and contracts and budgets for new studies will have new considerations. In this webinar, we’ll explore:

  • How sponsors and sites are managing revisions of agreements for existing studies where visits, tasks and activities have changed
  • What sponsors and sites are thinking about with regard to new COVID-19-related expenses and contracting requirements (e.g., coverage of site-mandated COVID-19 screening or required PPE)
  • How to build flexibility into contracts and budgets so that significant shifts in study conduct can be managed without requiring major revisions to budget or legal terms

PART 12: Public awareness of clinical research and the path to diversity in clinical trials

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[6/3] COVID-19 and the effort to develop treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 have brought awareness of clinical trials into the public view like never before. What impact is that discussion having on the public’s understanding of clinical trials as part of the drug development process? In addition, there’s been extensive conversation about ensuring COVID-19 treatment studies include an appropriately representative population. How can we advance this important discussion to achieve diversity in research study enrollment?

In this webinar we:

  • Review a recent CISCRP survey examining how COVID-19 has affected awareness, perceptions and understanding of clinical research for the general public
  • Discuss how future understanding of and participation in clinical research may be affected by the pandemic
  • Review the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 is having on minority communities in the U.S. and discuss the need to ensure appropriate representation in COVID-19 clinical trials

PART 11: The Impact of COVID-19 on Oncology Research – Immediate and Long-term Effects

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[5/27] More clinical trials are conducted for cancer than for other therapeutic areas, and these trials often include participants who have exhausted the available treatment options. So when COVID-19 forced a re-assessment of ongoing and upcoming studies, patients and care providers were placed in a difficult situation. We’ll talk to a leading cancer researcher and a patient who was in screening for a new clinical trial, about the present and future of oncology clinical trials.

Our expert speakers discuss:

  • How did cancer research centers react to COVID-19 and make decisions about continuing or pausing clinical trials, and what are they planning for the near future?
  • What kind of long-term effects might we see in the design and conduct of oncology clinical trials as a result of COVID-19?
  • The patient perspective: How it feels to get the call that your cancer clinical trial has been put on indefinite hold



Part 10: Unique Challenges and Opportunities for Emerging Biopharma Companies with Focused Pipelines

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[5/20] In this webinar, we turn our focus to the challenges unique to our innovative colleagues in the emerging biopharma space. With smaller and focused-pipeline organizations making up over 50% of clinical trials activity pre-COVID-19, these sponsors represent the potential for enormous advances in development, but also shoulder the challenges of keeping projects moving in highly concentrated pipelines during this time. Our expert speakers discuss:

  • How the agile nature of emerging biopharma has uniquely enabled them to pivot quickly and map to new methodologies to sustain and manage ongoing trials during the pandemic
  • How organizations with focused pipelines or single assets are facing development and commercial realities going forward

We’ll speak with leaders from emerging biopharma organizations with assets in different therapeutic areas and in various phases of development and commercialization; and about the evolving resources that address biopharma needs during this time.



Part 9: The Challenges of Developing Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19

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[5/13] In this webinar, our expert speakers turn their attention to challenges of doing research on the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss:

  • The remdesivir development pathway and the experience of designing and conducting clinical trials in a brand-new disease without the benefit of medical guidance or regulatory precedent
  • The status and future of prophylactic vaccine development for COVID-19
  • The ethical issues of human challenge studies, which can speed vaccine development timelines but require careful consideration because they would intentionally expose study volunteers to COVID-19


Part 8: The Realities of Restart

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[5/6] In this webinar, we turned our focus to the realities of restarting clinical trials by examining WCG data spanning the clinical trials ecosystem. We talked to leaders at research sites to understand their key issues and we’re helping sponsors understand what they should be aware of as they prepare to re-engage. We speak with our expert panel about the following:

  • WCG is evaluating data and trends based on a panoramic view of the clinical trials ecosystem and supported by our proprietary WCG Knowledge Base™ decision engine. We will highlight critical data points and share what today’s trends are telling us about what to expect next.
  • From there, we’ll transition to on-the-ground perspective from sites about the challenges, concerns and opportunities posed by this moment.
  • Finally, we’ll consider how those challenges translate into readiness considerations for sponsors and CROs.

Part 7: Imagining the Future State of Clinical Research

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[4/29] In this webinar, our expert, Ken Getz of Tufts CSDD, explores 3 facets of this transitional period:

  • What the clinical research world was really like in 2019, by drawing from the rich data of the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD).
  • What the clinical research world may look like in 2021 and beyond, and the potential changes to the ways we design protocols, select clinical sites, and operationalize studies.
  • Whether the public discussion of the development of COVID-19 therapies could potentially be a turning point in the public’s understanding, awareness and engagement with clinical trials.

Part 6: Going Remote During COVID-19: Considerations When Moving Studies Out of the Clinic Setting

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[4/22] In this webinar, our panel of experts discuss what you need to know about the impact of COVID-19 on your clinical trials:

  • Informed consent: what’s allowed and what’s practical in obtaining consent remotely, where does electronic consent come in, and whether participant compensation needs to be modified
  • How do IRBs consider the review of “virtual” clinical trials?
  • What do sponsors consider when deciding whether study visits can be conducted remotely, both when planning ahead, and when reacting to urgent issues?

Part 5: Maintaining Data Collection and Data Validity Amidst Major Study Changes

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[4/15] In this webinar, our panel of experts discuss what you need to know about the impact of COVID-19 on your clinical trials:

  • How do you continue to collect data and preserve your study?
  • Considerations for your endpoints; are your outcome measures still valid if you go remote?
  • What is the impact on interpretation of outcomes; can you combine pre-event and post-event data and baselines?

Part 4: Planning for Recovery: How Research Sponsors and Research Sites are Thinking Ahead to Restart Research

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[4/8] Our panel of experts discuss what you need to know about the impact of COVID-19 on your clinical trials:

  • What are sponsors doing now to plan ahead and to position studies to return to full activity as precautions release?
  • How can sites prepare for the wave of study restarts? What can be done now- even remotely- to maintain contact with participants, sponsors and vendors?
  • What will be different about our research studies, procedures and practices as we move into a post-COVID world?

Part 3: Evaluating Study Status and Leveraging Data Monitoring Committees to Make Study Decisions

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[4/1] Our panelists discuss best practices for:

  • Evaluating whether there is enough reliable data to draw meaningful clinical study conclusions
  • Assessing the status of each clinical study – what challenges and opportunities are presented based on study characteristics and timeline?
  • Determining how studies can be designed now to build in future flexibility in schedules, procedures and analysis plans
  • Leveraging DMCs/DSMBs to play a role in the assessment and modification of studies
  • Revisiting safety data collection and reporting during the COVID-19 crisis

Part 2: The Necessary Changes that Sites, Institutions and Research Participants are Considering During the COVID-19 Crisis

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[3/25] Our panelists cover how clinical sites and institutions are making decisions about what research should continue during COVID-19, what resources site teams are utilizing to shift study visits to virtual and remote assessments, and what changes are being made to protocols based on site policies and precautions. Also presented is the participant perspective: how we can manage fear, change, and messages about “non-essential” research priorities.


Part 1: Clinical Trials in the Era of COVID-19: Changes You Need to Make Now

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From protocol amendments to participant recruitment and retention, the impact of COVID-19 could be enormous. What can you do to minimize the disruption to your ongoing, or upcoming, clinical trial? Our panel of experts from NYU Langone Medical Center and WCG discuss ways to reduce the impact of this pandemic on your studies to keep them on track.


COVID-19 Preparedness for Health Care Institutions

[3/13] In this webinar, experts from the FDA and Massachusetts General Hospital discuss what we know, and don’t know, about the nature and epidemiology of COVID-19, what’s happening as we work to develop vaccines and therapeutic agents, and how health care institutions are preparing for COVID-19 across different divisions.

key takeaways from Dr. Paul Biddinger

key takeaways from Dr. Scott Gottlieb


Recent news on COVID-19 and clinical trials

News provided by WCG FDAnews and WCG CenterWatch

Jul 2

Pfizer and BioNTech Report Positive Results From COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

Pfizer and BioNTech have announced positive early results from a phase 1/2 study of their lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the U.S.

Read more

Jul 2

Fujifilm Partners With Dr. Reddy’s to Sell Avigan for COVID-19

Japanese drugmaker Fujifilm is partnering with India’s Dr. Reddy’s and Dubai-based Global Response Aid (GRA) to manufacture and sell its influenza drug Avigan (favipiravir) for the treatment of COVID-19.

Read more

Jul 2

Some Government Contracts for COVID-19 Products Dodge Affordable Pricing Laws, Report Says

At least five drug developers working on COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines with U.S. government funding have contracts that bypass laws that ensure taxpayer-funded drugs and vaccines are affordable, a new report says.

Read more

Jul 2

Drugmakers Raised Drug Prices Throughout COVID-19 Pandemic, Analysis Finds

Drugmakers have continued to hike their drug prices during the COVID-19 crisis, increasing prices on average 23.8 percent for 245 drugs, many of which are used in COVID-19 treatments or research.

Read more

Jul 2

Kroger’s COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit Cleared for Emergency Use

The agency said promotional material for the home collection kit must make clear that it has not been FDA cleared or approved.

Read more

Jul 1

FDA Outlines Required COVID-19 Vaccine Data in New Guidance

Any COVID-19 vaccine the FDA approves would have to be at least 50 percent more effective than a placebo, according to a new guidance it released yesterday.

Read more

Jul 1

Hahn Predicts Multiple COVID-19 Treatments by Fall

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said yesterday that he was “optimistic” that more than one COVID-19 treatment could be available by the fall in addition to Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir, which has already received Emergency Use Authorization from the agency.

Read more

Jul 1

Oxford to Resume Global Trial of Hydroxychloroquine to Prevent COVID-19

The University of Oxford is resuming recruitment this week for its global clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which was paused after a now-retracted study found the antimalarial drugs had no benefit as a treatment for COVID-19.

Read more

Jul 1

Inovio’s Vaccine Candidate Shows Promise in Early Trial

Inovio Pharmaceuticals has released data from the phase 1 clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate showing it was safe and well-tolerated and induced immune responses in a majority of participants.

Read more

Jul 1

Bharat Biotech Gets Indian Approval for COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

Bharat Biotech has received approval to begin clinical trials in India of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The trial will be the first for a COVID vaccine developed in that country.

Read more

Jun 30

Gilead Sciences Prices Remdesivir at $3,120 Per Treatment

After weeks of waiting, Gilead Sciences announced yesterday that it will charge U.S. insurers $3,120 for a six-vial, five-day course of remdesivir, and a lower price of $2,340 for governments of developed countries, including the U.S.

Read more

Jun 30

Oxford University Begins Phase 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Trial in Brazil

The University of Oxford is ready to launch a phase 3 trial in Brazil of AstraZeneca (AZ)’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be the frontrunner in the research race.

Read more

View additional COVID-19 news at and

Expert insights on clinical trials and COVID-19

As we navigate COVID-19 together, our clinical trial experts are engaged to address the biggest questions. To submit a topic or question, use the form at the bottom of the page.

Lindsay McNair, MD, MPH, MSB
Chief Medical Officer, WCG

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Mike Cioffi
Senior Vice President, Clinical Solutions and Strategic Partnerships, WCG

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David A. Borasky Jr., MPH, CIP
Vice President, IRB Compliance, WCG

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Janet Wittes, PhD
Founder and President, WCG StatCollab

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Jill Johnston
President, Study Planning and Site Optimization Division, WCG

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David Forster, JD, MA, CIP
Chief Compliance Officer, WCG

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Jonathan Seltzer, MD, MBA, MA, FACC
Chief Scientific Officer, WCG

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Jonathan Zung, PhD
Executive Vice President, WCG

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Suzanne Caruso
Vice President, Clinical Solutions, WCG

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Lori Abrams
Senior Director, Advocacy

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Mark G. A. Opler, PhD, MPH
Chief Research Officer, WCG MedAvante-ProPhase

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Bindi K. Shah, MD
Chief Medical Officer, WCG ACI Clinical

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Stuart Horowitz, PhD, MBA
President, Institutions & Institutional Services

Christopher Randolph, PhD, ABPP-CN
Chief Scientific Officer, WCG MedAvante-ProPhase

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Submit a COVID-19 question or topic to be considered in future webinars

Please note: protocol-specific questions for studies under the oversight of a WCG IRB should be submitted through your IRB contact person, not through this form.

Disclaimer: All information available on this site is intended for your general knowledge and is not for the purpose of providing regulatory advice, medical advice, or a substitute for institutional review board review. You should not use this information to determine compliance with any applicable laws or regulations governing institutional review boards and human subjects research.