In DepthClinical Trials

Researchers seek clear reasons when clinical trials end early

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Science  17 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6245, pp. 222
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6245.222

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The race to bring a new treatment to market has many dropouts along the way. About 12% of clinical trials are reported to shut down prematurely. Knowing why could help minimize the number of terminated trials going forward. A team of three computational biologists who had hoped to use in a research project of their own instead began exploring why clinical trials end prematurely. They looked at all 3122 terminated trials on the registry at the time their study began, and divided the reasons for ending early into "buckets," such as funding, ethical reasons, or business decisions, so they could see the breakdown by category.