CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 21, 2022. Sanofi is proud to announce a collaboration with Novartis, the Novartis US Foundation and the Beacon of Hope program to address racial disparities in health and education and to create greater diversity, equity and inclusion across R&D in the pharmaceutical industry.
Including more healthcare providers of color in our clinical trial development process is key to these efforts and so we plan to work closely with four historically Black medical schools. Sanofi clinical trials in immunology and inflammation, neurology, oncology, rare diseases and rare blood disorders are anticipated to take place at Howard University College of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and Morehouse School of Medicine.
Chief Medical Officer, Global Head of Development at Sanofi
“We are honored to join our peers to shine a light on the racial inequities in our industry and to bring more diversity to clinical trials. There is a clear lack of diversity among trial participants, clinical trial investigators, medical school students, and physicians and we look forward to emboldening the next generation of investigators from underrepresented communities.”
Racial and ethnic minorities have historically been marginalized in clinical research. For example, one study found that only eight percent of participants in cancer treatment clinical trials were Black, despite the same chance of developing cancer as White individuals. Of those affected by cancer in the United States, Black people have the shortest survival and highest death rate of any racial or ethnic group. Sanofi recognizes and supports the urgency to change this dynamic.
Sanofi joins the Beacon of Hope program alongside Merck, which has also committed to clinical trials through the four Centers of Excellence.
The collaboration with the Beacon of Hope program is part of Sanofi's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) strategy which set new objectives in June 2021 to be achieved by 2025. The strategy is built around three key pillars: building representative leadership, creating a work environment where employees can bring their whole selves, and transform beyond the workplace.
Earlier this year, Sanofi took additional steps forward in its DE&I strategy by introducing a DE&I Board and fostering the creation of a Global Employee Resource Groups framework.
About Beacon of Hope
Launched in July 2021 as a $33.7 million commitment from Novartis and the Novartis US Foundation, Beacon of Hope began as a 10-year collaboration with Morehouse School of Medicine and 26 other Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Coursera, and the National Medical Association, to work together to increase diversity among clinical trial participants and investigators; improve access to high-quality education and promising jobs; address inherent bias in the data standards used to diagnose and treat disease; and find actionable solutions to environmental and climate issues that disproportionately affect health among communities of color.
A guiding principle of Beacon of Hope is a recognition that achieving consequential changes in health and education equity at population scale, and addressing the systemic racism that has caused decades of disparity, is a long-term endeavor that will take sustained, collective effort from industry, academia and the communities. For more information on Beacon of Hope programs, please click here:
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