March 18, 2020 / 12:53 PM / 19 days ago

U.S. companies begin delaying clinical trials due to coronavirus outbreak

March 18 (Reuters) - U.S.-based Iveric bio Inc on Wednesday became the latest company to delay a clinical trial due to the coronavirus outbreak, as the drug developer said it would postpone recruitment for a trial of its eye disease drug.

The company said the deferral was a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of elderly patients with dry age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes vision loss, and doctors in the trial.

U.S.-based Provention Bio on Monday had also said it would pause a study of its diabetes drug, but patients undergoing the study would be allowed to complete their course.

The outbreak has also begun to affect new drug launches as physicians and patients practice social distancing to curb spreading the virus.

Aimmune Therapeutics Inc on Monday warned of a slow launch of its peanut allergy therapy and said its representatives were working to provide support to allergists through web conferences.

Amarin Corp Plc on Sunday announced the suspension of in-person interactions for its sales representatives until March 30. Neither company provided specific details on the impact of virus on its financial results.

Analysts have warned that the continued spread of the virus could result in hospitals restricting entry of visitors, including pharmaceutical representatives.

They have also said it could lead to cancellations of physician education events such as lunch, dinner and medical meetings, all of which could stifle the opportunity to market new products.

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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