Pictured: The Future Site of Wuhan Science and Technology Museum in Wuhan, China.

In our previous blog post into the geography of clinical trials within the US, we used the TrialFinder to identify areas of surprisingly high and low clinical trial activity in 2017. But which areas of the US will see increased clinical trial activity in the coming years that currently do not?

In this article, we’ll reveal the answer to this question by walking you through yet another BrackenData analysis. Read along for a look into the tool we used to conduct such an analysis, and insights we’ve uncovered along the way.


Looking Forward

We’ll confine our investigation to the US for the sake of simplicity.

Taken from TrialFinder

Taken from TrialFinder

Next, we’ll set a time filter to find studies that haven’t yet started. To be clear, this is looking at trials already registered and approved with the NIH, but with start dates in the future.


We’ll also want to set a study-status filter to exclude terminated and suspended trials, which are known for having out-of-date data.

study status.png

That leaves us with 498 trials, 1216 registered sites, and 192 different sponsors.

Trials sites and sponsors

Now it’s time to break into the meat of the data so that we can mine it for insights into which cities will be the places that clinical trials will be produced out of.


Crunching The Numbers

Using TrialFinder, we exported the data on these trials to Excel so that we can analyze them further. Once we have our data in Excel, we can use the COUNTIF function to count the number of future trials that are planned on a per city basis. The function spits out the number of duplicates of the value that you put in. 

COUNTIF in excel

Then, we can sort by the number of planned trials to find that Houston is the city with the most planned clinical trials—a bit of a surprising finding, given that Boston and New York are often identified as the largest nexus of research. However, a previous post of ours did identify Houston as the 3rd most popular city for US clinical trials in 2016.

Houston clinical trials

Let’s look at the top cities with the most upcoming clinical trials.

top upcoming trial hubs

Miami, Nashville, and Cincinnati stand out as surprising findings—these are cities not traditionally associated with high clinical trial activity, and yet each of these are hosting more than 5% of future trials already registered with the NIH.

A possible implication is that researchers, CROs, and trial sponsors should look toward beefing up operations in these cities as money will be flowing into these cities’ institutions via the increased research traffic.


Surprising Results

Looking further down the list, there are a few other surprises which are worth keeping an eye on in the coming years.

most surprising findings

Gainesville, Florida, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Little Rock, Arkansas all have more trials than would be expected given their number of universities, hospitals, and population size. While these three cities aren’t research hubs yet, this could be an indication they are on their way.

Check out TrialFinder or TrialFinder Lite for yourself and then you too can find unique insights into clinical trial geography as we’ve done here.