When BrackenData officially launched in April, I was looking at the stats on our database and being proud of the fact that we had data from 213,000 clinical trials. The credit for this goes to the NIH and ClinicalTrials.gov (CT.g), who have made clinical trial data downloadable to the public. Our system cleans this data, visualizes it, and makes it interactive.

“213,000” I thought to myself. “I wonder how fast that will grow?”

I attempted to answer this question by looking at 2015 as an indicator. In that year there were 23,548 trials approved by the NIH. That’s an approval rate of 452 per week!

Looking at that number, I asked myself when I may expect ClinicalTrials.gov and BrackenData to surpass having over a quarter of a million trials on file.

212,000 trials in April growing at a rate of 452 trials per week would mean that we could expect to see a quarter of a million on the 42nd week of the year which is October 17th – October 23rd, 2016. Last week.

My predicted rate of growth wasn't generous enough, because as of this week there are over 228,000 trials on the online registry. Congratulations to the NIH on reaching this milestone! To commemorate, I thought I’d provide some interesting data on the registry:

Of the 228,00 clinical trials in CT.g's and our database, 28.7% are industry funded. 4.3% are funded by the NIH, and 1.3% are funded by US Government organizations outside the NIH.


Here are all the trials in the database, sorted by start date. Some organizations have retroactively added clinical trials to the online registry; the oldest being an observational trial conducted by University of Pennsylvania in 1957.

Clinical trials by start date. Click to enlarge.


Here is the above graph again, but with the darker shade of green representing trials with an industry sponsor. The "other" funder type category that makes up most of the lighter shade of green here are academic and medical centers.

Clinical trials by start date. Click to enlarge.


The sponsor with the most trials registered on CT.g is GlaxoSmithKline. The second largest contributor is the National Cancer Institute, which is backed by the NIH.

Number of trials by sponsor. Click to enlarge.

The above visuals are interactive graphs from our proprietary software. To explore more data about the prolific ClinicalTrials.gov database, use the form below to request a free trial of our analytics.

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