Diversity in Clinical Trials Leads to Richer Data
In part two of our conversation on clinical trials, we hear from two people directly involved in the effort to expand access to clinical trials in underserved communities. “There are challenges across the board, both in getting patients into studies and also getting them to stay in studies — what’s called retention,” says our first guest, Josh Rose, Vice President and Head of Clinical Trial Delivery, Site Solutions and Strategy for Clinical Trial Services at CVS Health. He explains how his team chose the 100 MinuteClinic sites to equip for clinical trials from among the more than 1,100 locations nationwide: “We specifically picked out those locations [near] the type of patient population that we were hoping to enroll – urban areas, areas with high patient density, areas with high diversity. That helps ensure that we are getting much more representation of the broader population.”
Clinical Trial Services works with numerous trial sponsors, from large pharmaceutical companies like Moderna to smaller biotech firms like ProKidney, which is working on cell-based therapies to slow down and prevent kidney failure in order to help patients avoid the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dr. Joseph Stavas, Senior Vice President of Global Clinical Development at ProKidney, explains how their innovative cell therapy approach harvests a patient’s own cells, which are then processed, formulated and reinjected. Chronic kidney disease, says Dr. Stavas, is predicted to be one of the largest global problems in the next 20 to 30 years. Their Phase 3 trial is targeting the two most common causes of chronic kidney disease — hypertension and type 2 diabetes.