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Spain Registers Over 900 Clinical Trials in 2022, Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

Rare diseases are, despite advances, an important area of development for biomedical research, since only 5% of these pathologies have an available treatment. However, current European legislation has managed to go from the eight orphan drugs available in 2000 to more than 130 drugs today. On the other hand, a total of 166 clinical trials had children or adolescents as patients.

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Spain authorized more than 900 clinical trials with drugs in 2022, according to the Spanish Registry of Clinical Studies (Reec), coordinated by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps).

The figure, which could still increase when the definitive data is closed, is higher than that registered in 2018 and 2019, years prior to the pandemic in which 800 clinical studies, respectively 833 clinical studies were authorized, according to Farmaindustria.

86% of these trials were promoted by pharmaceutical companies, whose investment in this item has been increasing in recent years to €789 million, 60% of the total investment in research and development (R&D) of the sector in Spain, as reflected in the latest Survey on R&D Activities. This item has increased at an average cumulative annual rate of 5.3% in the last ten years, going from €470 million in 2011 to nearly €800 million in 2021.

If you want to find more details about the clinical trials that took place in Spain in 2022, download for free our companion app. The Born2Invest mobile app brings you the most important business news in the world, so you can stay on top of the market.

A total of 328 trials focus on drugs to treat cancer, the area with the most studies

Investment in clinical research generates a great virtuous circle since it implies investment in hospitals by the companies promoting the trials; It contributes to the qualification of health professionals, thereby increasing the quality of the provision of our health system, and opens up new possibilities for Spanish patients, for many of whom the participation in a clinical trial can be a unique opportunity to cure his disease.

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In the last year, more than a third of the trials, a total of 328, have focused on drugs to treat cancer, the area with the most studies, followed by diseases of the nervous system and pathologies of the immune system. Respiratory, hematological, viral, and cardiovascular diseases were the next in a number of trials in 2022, according to the Reec data.

Rare diseases already account for 25% of the clinical trials carried out in 2022, with a total of 230 trials. This data has evolved significantly in recent years, such that in 2018 there were 73 studies aimed at testing orphan drugs, and in 2019 there were 117 studies.

5% of rare diseases have a treatment available

Rare diseases are, despite advances, an important area of ​​development for biomedical research, since only 5% of these pathologies have an available treatment. However, current European legislation, based on a system of incentives for research by pharmaceutical companies, has managed to go from the eight orphan drugs available in 2000 to more than 130 drugs today.

On the other hand, a total of 166 clinical trials had children or adolescents as patients. The pediatric area is also one of the areas that have grown the most in Spain in recent years, with the number of studies on the rise since 2016, when 108 trials with pediatric drugs were registered, 35% less than last year.

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(Featured image by Julia Koblitz via Unsplash)

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First published in PlantaDoce, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Anthony Donaghue writes about science and technology. Keeping abreast of the latest tech developments in various sectors, he has a keen interest on startups, especially inside and outside of Silicon Valley. From time to time, he also covers agritech and biotech, as well as consumer electronics, IT, AI, and fintech, among others. He has also written about IPOs, cannabis, and investing.