To improve your experience on Lilly TrialGuide, please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer, with JavaScript enabled.
This website is not optimized for your browser, as configured.
Collaboration

Clinical Trial History: Clinical Trial Design Across the Ages

Clinical Trial Design Across the Ages

The first documented experiment resembling a clinical trial was not conducted by a scientist or doctor, but by a military ruler in the ancient days of the Middle East. His name was King Nebuchadnezzar, and his experiment is recorded in the “Book of Daniel” in The Bible. When Daniel and his friends refused to eat the required meat and wine, Nebuchadnezzar allowed them to have beans and water instead. After 10 days, he assessed their health and when they appeared to be well, he allowed them to continue the separate diet. While this test was not exactly a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, it may very well have been one of the first times in human history that a medical test, however rudimentary, guided a decision about public health.

From those modest beginnings, clinical trials have evolved over the millennia to be more complex and more specific in the goals and outcomes they measure. The design of the studies has developed right alongside. Key events over time are highlighted in the graphic below, from the famous scurvy trial of the 1700s through to the master protocol designs of the current day.

HistoryOfClinicalTrials ClinicalTrialDesign Combined Infographic 28Oct2019-01

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1510062
  3. https://wellcomecollection.org/works/ua9htfhx
Tags: History, Infographic,

Recent Articles

CaringForCaregivers FeatureImage 17Nov2020

Caring for Caregivers

Susan Gilchrist headshot square
Susan Gilchrist
November 18th, 20204 minute read

Read more for services and support groups to make life a bit easier for caregivers - the unsung heroes in the clinical trial process.

YourQuestionsAboutAlzheimersAnswered FeatureImage 21Sept2020

Your questions about Alzheimer’s research, answered

Susan Gilchrist headshot square
Susan Gilchrist
November 17th, 20205 minute read

Considering clinical trial participation may feel overwhelming. Here are some answers to common questions about Alzheimer’s and dementia clinical trials to support you through the learning curve.

ListenToTheYouthVoiceForPatientCentricPediatricDrugDevelopment FeatureImage 21Sept2020-01

Listen to the youth voice for patient-centric pediatric drug development

LTGBlogAuthors LillyGuestAuthorIcon 20July2018
Lilly Guest Author
September 24th, 20204 minute read

The patient voice is critical for successful clinical research, for people of all ages. Learn how Lilly’s partnership with iCAN helps us include that voice in research.

LeapingIntoDecentralizedClinicalTrials FeatureImage 16Sept2020-01

Leaping into Decentralized Clinical Trials

LTGBlogAuthors GuestAuthorIcon 20July2018
Guest Author
September 17th, 20203 minute read

Before starting medical school, Iman Mahoui joined Lilly’s Decentralized Trials team. She reflects on how new approaches to research can help address social justice and health equity issues.

MasterProtocol FeatureImage 14July2020-01

Platform Trials and Master Protocols: A New Approach to Clinical Research

Leigh Anne Naas Headshot
Leigh Anne Naas
August 18th, 20205 minute read

Learn more about platform trials and master protocols, an alternative model to how we conduct clinical research.