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 In practice, just as NIH has failed to enforce the law for conventional clinical trials, the agency has postponed enforcement for the supplemental policy covering the broader set of experiments. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "NIH extends reporting mandate to more clinical trials, but obscures their policing," 14 Jan. 2020 The birth is the first in Penn Medicine's uterus transplant clinical trial, which is actively enrolling patients and covered the cost of the transplant, estimated at half a million dollars. NBC News, "2nd baby born in U.S. thanks to uterus transplanted from deceased donor," 9 Jan. 2020 Consider the health tech companies using analytics and A.I. to match patients to clinical trials, potentially reducing the time to find patients from many months to days or even minutes. Paul Hudson, Fortune, "Pharma Needs to Stop Chasing Shiny Objects and Start Embracing Practical Technology," 7 Jan. 2020 Doctors are recruiting patients for at least a dozen clinical trials, with aims to cure other blood disorders, inherited blindness, and a variety of cancers. Wired Staff, Wired, "2020 in Science: A SpaceX Bonanza, Lab-Grown Brains, and More," 31 Dec. 2019 The two-year clinical trial, also called U.S. Pointer, will study if lifestyle interventions, which at the same time target risk factors, protect cognitive abilities in older adults at a higher risk for cognitive decline. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "Alzheimer’s Association makes strides in 2019," 26 Dec. 2019 Now, after finishing 2019 with a second drug approval and a third heading that way following a positive late-stage clinical trial, what does Maraganore need accomplish next? Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "Maraganore victorious in best biopharma CEO tally; Vounatsos tops worst list," 20 Dec. 2019 Within the past year, major clinical trials for Alzheimer’s drugs — including several targeting amyloid plaques — have failed to produce results, triggering soul-searching among some in the field. Lauren Caruba,, "After decades of research yield no cure, UTSA opens contest seeking causes of Alzheimer’s disease," 17 Dec. 2019 Some randomized clinical trials, the gold-standard for research, have found Tai Chi can reduce cholesterol levels; other studies have seen improvements in blood sugar control. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Medicine in motion: How Tai Chi heals body and mind," 13 Dec. 2019

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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The first known use of clinical trial was in 1946

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clinical trial.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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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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showing steady, earnest care and effort

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