Catalonia is ranked among the top 10 in the world in number of participations in clinical trials. Looking only at oncology, this position rises to the European Top 5 and remains in the World Top 10, as it does for other leading specializations.
Since 2001, the number of clinical trials carried out in Catalonia has continued to grow and, in the past ten years, the figure has doubled. A series of attractive factors explain why Catalonia has become a priority destination for clinical trials around the world and why major global pharmaceutical companies have chosen our territory to carry out their clinical studies.
Catalonia is currently participating in over 1,200 active clinical trials to test new therapies and drugs in patients. If we compare this figure on a European level, Catalonia ranks 6th in number of participations in trials and 8th worldwide, only behind large countries like the United States (9,532), Canada (1,905), France (1,896), United Kingdom (1,633), Spain (1,595), Germany (1,583) and Italy (1,460). Moreover, Catalan centers take part in 75% of all active trials carried out in Spain.
48% of the clinical trials in which Catalan centers participate are in phase I (15%) or phase II (33%), and 52% in phases III (49%) and IV (3%), i.e. the phases closest to drug commercialization.
In terms of therapeutic areas, Catalonia excels in conducting clinical trials in a wide variety of specialized fields, but one specialty stands out in particular: oncology, which accounts for 65.5% of all clinical trials with Catalan participation, followed by cardiovascular diseases (15.7%), dermatology (13.4%), nervous system diseases (7.8%) and ophthalmology (7.8%).
By centers, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital is the most active in clinical trials, followed by Hospital Clinic Barcelona, Bellvitge University Hospital, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Hospital Universitari Parc Taulí and Parc de Salut Mar.
The main assets that explain why Catalonia has become a priority destination for clinical trials worldwide are:
One example of this market attractiveness is the clinical trials ran in Catalonia by the top international pharmaceutical companies with the highest turnover, like Novartis, Roche, MSD, AstraZeneca, Janssen, GSK, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Pfizer, AbbVie and Sanofi. And another example is the recent announcement from Alexion, owned by AstraZeneca, that it will open a new center dedicated in Barcelona to clinical trials on rare diseases.