Life Sciences Insight

Roche’s Genentech launches new alliance aimed at achieving greater diversity in cancer trials

Roche’s biotech arm Genentech has created a new coalition of clinical research sites aimed at boosting diversity in oncology studies.

The U.S.-Swiss Big Pharma says its Advancing Inclusive Research Site Alliance will “advance the representation of diverse patient populations in the company’s oncology clinical trials, test recruitment and retention approaches, and establish best practices that can be leveraged across the industry to help achieve health equity for people with cancer,” according to a statement.

The coalition includes an array of partners, including the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, California; the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson in Texas; the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; and West Cancer Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

Each will look to better serve the “historically underrepresented” patient groups in Genentech’s oncology trials while looking to add more research centers and additional disease areas “in the near future” with the ultimate goal of building a new clinical research ecosystem that actively includes diverse patient groups.

“We must engage differently with disenfranchised patient communities if we want to ensure the most representative and effective clinical research and achieve optimal treatment outcomes for all,” said Quita Highsmith, chief diversity officer at Genentech.

“Through the Advancing Inclusive Research Site Alliance, we’re partnering with highly experienced and trusted research centers located in areas with higher Black and Hispanic/Latinx populations to meet patients where they are and take practical and meaningful strides towards eliminating the systemic inequities of our healthcare system.”