Clinical Trials

A doctor discusses different clinical trial options with a patient.
  • Drug development

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are at the heart of our work to bring innovative medicines to people with a particular disease or condition. These studies ensure that an investigative medicine is effective and safe, and rely entirely on patients and healthy volunteers. Learn more about clinical trials at Novartis including opportunities to get involved. 

Find Clinical Trials
About Clinical Trials
  • Clinical Trial Patient

    Clinical trials explained

    A clinical trial is a research study that is done to find out if a treatment can improve people’s health. A treatment can be a drug, medical device, medical procedure, or a change in a person’s behavior such as diet or exercise.

  • A clinical trial participant

    Why should I consider to participate on a clinical trial?

    Clinical trials help to develop potential new medicines, discover if certain medicines work better than others and find new uses for already-approved medicines.

Phases of clinical trials

Clinical trials are divided into four phases. Earlier phases determine the safety of a treatment and any potential side effects, while later stages examine whether a new medicine is more effective than existing therapies.

  • Phase I

    Phase 1 trials test an experimental drug, vaccine or device in a small group of participants (about 20-80 people) to evaluate safety, identify side effects, and determine how the drug should be used or delivered.

  • Phase II

    Phase 2 trials involve larger groups of participants than Phase 1 (about 100-300 people) and they are designed to assess whether an experimental treatment is safe and whether it works.

  • Phase III

    Phase 3 trials evaluates the safety and effectiveness in a greater group of participants (about 1000-3000 people), often in comparison to a placebo or standard treatment.

  • Phase IV

    Phase 4 trials are performed once a drug or vaccine has been approved for use and has reached the market, to seek more information about its risks, benefits, and optimal use.

To better understand what it might be like to be in a clinical trial, let’s hear from a few people on their personal experience when they participated in a clinical trial.

Watch the video

Participating in a Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial Patient

    Information for Patients

    Deciding to take part in a clinical trial is an important decision, and it is yours to make. Before enrolling in a clinical trial, you should learn as much as possible about the trial.

  • Clinical Trial Patient

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Before agreeing to join a clinical trial, it is important that you ask questions to make sure you understand all aspects of the trial and your role as a participant.

  • Man using digital tablet

    Glossary of terms

    There are a lot of words and terms about clinical research that may be new to you. This section provides definitions for words and terms you may want to know.

Resources for Healthcare Professionals and Researchers

Managed Access Programs 

Managed Access makes investigational or unapproved treatments available to eligible patients with serious or life-threatening diseases.

Learn More

Investigator Initiated Trials (IITs)

As part of our commitment to delivering innovative therapies to patients worldwide, Novartis believes in the need to support ethical independent clinical research conducted by qualified third-party investigators.

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Voluntary data sharing

Novartis is committed to sharing with qualified external researchers, access to patient-level data and clinical study reports from eligible studies.

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Ethics, Transparency and Disclosure
  • Ethics

    For every Novartis clinical trial our primary responsibility is to protect the safety, well-being and legal rights of all participants and ensure adherence to the highest ethical standards for clinical research.

  • A sphygmomanometer

    Data Transparency

    Our vision is to be a trusted leader in changing the practice of medicine. A big part of gaining this trust is being transparent – being open and clearly disclosing what we do, how we work and where we are successful.

  • A doctor talks to a heart patient

    Clinical Trials Results

    The results of Novartis clinical trials are made publicly available through peer-reviewed publications and posting of results on the Novartis clinical trial results database and other online public databases.

COVID-19 Clinical Trials

Novartis is sponsoring and co-sponsoring a number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) clinical trials and participating in multiple research collaborations

Novartis COVID-19 Information Center

Clinical Trials Stories

Going the extra mile to keep clinical trials on track during the COVID-19 pandemic

A Novartis team couriers an experimental treatment across Europe to a patient as transit grinds to a halt

Read the story

Drug development gets big data analytics boost

With Nerve Live, Novartis is harnessing the power of data for the benefit of patients

Read the story