Driven by the use cases of PubChemRDF and SCAIView, we have developed a first community-based clinical trial ontology (CTO) by following the OBO Foundry principles. CTO uses the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as the top level ontology and reuses many terms from existing ontologies. CTO has also defined many clinical trial-specific terms. The general CTO design pattern is based on the PICO framework together with two applications. First, the PubChemRDF use case demonstrates how a drug Gleevec is linked to multiple clinical trials investigating Gleevec's related chemical compounds. Second, the SCAIView text mining engine shows how the use of CTO terms in its search algorithm can identify publications referring to COVID-19-related clinical trials. Future opportunities and challenges are discussed.
Keywords: BFO; COVID-19; clinical trial; clinical trial registry; ontology.