Chinese 'patients are simply not going' to clinical trial sites, IQVIA warns

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Samara Heisz)
(Image: Getty/Samara Heisz)

Related tags: IQVIA, China, Coronavirus

IQVIA warns coronavirus outbreak is stopping study participants from visiting clinical trial sites.

In creating its outlook for 2020, IQVIA identified the coronavirus outbreak affecting China as a barrier to near-term growth. As IQVIA CEO Ari Bousbib explained on a fourth quarter results conference call with investors, the barrier stems from decisions individuals are making in light of the threat posed by the virus.

Bousbib said, “Patients are simply not going. The patients who are enrolled in a trial are simply not going to visit the hospitals where all the sites are in China, because that's kind of the more dangerous spot right now​.”

China is a relatively small piece of IQVIA’s clinical trial business, with the region affected by the viral outbreak containing less than 0.1% of its worldwide sites. Yet, China is significant enough for IQVIA to quantify the headwind created by the coronavirus outbreak.

IQVIA expects the outbreak to deliver a $25m (€23m) hit to revenues in the first quarter. As IQVIA will still incur costs in China over that period, Bousbib expects the revenue hit to put a similarly sized dent in first quarter profits.

As it stands, IQVIA is predicting all of the negative impact related to coronavirus will hit in the first quarter, although Bousbib acknowledged the company faces “an evolving situation​.”

Potentially, the disruption caused by the outbreak and the Chinese government’s response to it may drag on deeper into 2020 and continue to constrain sales growth at IQVIA. In light of the current level of disruption and potential for ongoing problems, IQVIA is taking steps to counter the effects of the outbreak on its financials and the progress of its clients’ clinical trials.

Bousbib said, “We obviously have contingencies and we're working on mitigating all of these issues. We are also internally working on mitigation plans, we're reorienting certain sites, opening up new sites outside of China et cetera. So, it's not like we're just sitting and waiting for these sites to be open blindly​.”

Despite the anticipated hit from coronavirus, IQVIA delivered 2020 guidance that led analysts to dial up their expectations for the year. The midpoint of IQVIA’s revenue range is around $40m higher than the consensus, according to analysts at Jefferies. Analysts at William Blair responded to the guidance by adding $39 million to their 2020 revenue estimate.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Laboratory Solutions for COVID-19 Clinical Trials

Laboratory Solutions for COVID-19 Clinical Trials

Q2 Solutions | 10-Jun-2020 | Clinical Study

As a leading laboratory services organization for trials across the globe, we are proud to partner with clients to support COVID-19 clinical trials. Our...

Parents as Gatekeepers for Children with Cancer

Parents as Gatekeepers for Children with Cancer

PRA Health Sciences | 08-Jun-2020 | Technical / White Paper

The RACE for Children Act will require new drugs intended for adult cancer treatment to also be studied in pediatric cancers when the molecular target...

RACE Act Prompts Pediatric Oncology Trials

RACE Act Prompts Pediatric Oncology Trials

PRA Health Sciences | 04-May-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Many providers prescribe drugs off-label to pediatric patients, even though there have been few pediatric trials for many of these drugs. In response,...

Manufacturing Cyto and Non-Cyto Drugs in One Facility

Manufacturing Cyto and Non-Cyto Drugs in One Facility

Baxter BioPharma Solutions | 01-Mar-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Recent market reports suggest increasing product niches, which may lead to decreasing numbers of units per product, making dedicated facilities less practical....

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more