GlobalData analysed the number of terminated oncology clinical trials with industry sponsors and a start date between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2017. These trials had industry or academic collaborator involvement; furthermore, the effect of no collaboration on trial termination was also evaluated.

Likelihood of trial termination was determined by dividing the total number of terminated clinical trials by the overall trial count (comprising both terminated and completed trials). Industry-sponsored clinical trials with academic collaborators were the most likely to be terminated (21.3%) (Figure 1), predominantly in Phase III.

Conversely, trials involving industry collaboration had the lowest overall likelihood of termination (16.9%) with the highest number of clinical trials being terminated in Phase IV (Figure 2). Clinical trials without collaborator involvement were most likely to be terminated in Phase II (30.4%) and also held the highest proportion of terminated trials in Phase I as compared with clinical trials with either academic or industry collaborators, highlighting a poorer performance in early-stage trials.

Collaborator involvement in clinical trials had a somewhat beneficial effect on the likelihood of trial termination when industry collaborators were involved; where academic collaborators are concerned, these trials had a 2% greater likelihood of termination as compared with trials without collaboration and were the most likely to be terminated overall. Low accrual rate remains a key issue in oncology clinical trials, presenting as the most common cause of trial termination for all collaborator types.