clinical trial


Definition of clinical trial

: a scientifically controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutic agent (such as a drug or vaccine) using consenting human subjects

Examples of clinical trial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Clinicians treating patients with Covid-19 can’t always afford to wait for peer review of clinical trial results. Paul Monach, STAT, "The hazards of medicine by tweet: the case of anti-cytokine therapy for Covid-19," 12 Feb. 2021 That compares to clinical trial results out of Brazil last week showing the vaccine had an efficacy rate of 78%. Jon Emont, WSJ, "Indonesia Is First to Approve Sinovac Vaccine Outside China," 11 Jan. 2021 Both countries rolled out their vaccines without phase 3 clinical trial results that confirm the vaccine effectiveness. Uwagbale Edward-ekpu, Quartz Africa, "African countries are turning to Russia, India, and China for Covid vaccines despite skepticism," 9 Jan. 2021 By contrast, AstraZeneca's vaccine was just 62.1% effective when given as two standard doses four weeks apart, according to clinical trial results published in the medical journal The Lancet. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "U.K. approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine," 30 Dec. 2020 China said clinical trial results showed high efficacy for one of its vaccine candidates, an announcement that hastened the global rollout of hundreds of millions of doses of Chinese vaccines but was short on crucial details. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "U.K. Approves Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine, and Tightens Lockdown," 30 Dec. 2020 In Spain, 45 patients with COVID-19 have taken Aplidin as part of a Phase 2 clinical trial, and Pharma Mar has released data on the first 27 patients. Jason Fagone,, "Cancer drug Aplidin shows promise as COVID therapy, UCSF team reports," 25 Jan. 2021 Now, its trial participants in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal allege that they were not informed that the jab would be given to them as part of a clinical trial. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Grave ethical allegations hound India’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccine as it prepares for rollout," 12 Jan. 2021 The medical center plans to enroll 1,000 participants for the clinical trial. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "‘Diddy’ delivers, chicken coops, New Year’s Eve restrictions: News from around our 50 states," 31 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clinical trial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of clinical trial

1946, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for clinical trial

Time Traveler

The first known use of clinical trial was in 1946

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Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clinical trial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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clinical trial


Medical Definition of clinical trial

: a scientifically controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutic agent (as a drug or vaccine) using consenting human subjects

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