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BIO Takes on Health Equity in Clinical Trials

First-ever BIO Clinical Trial Diversity Summit will engage stakeholders to build a sustainable and equitable clinical development ecosystem

June 10, 2021
Media Contact
Theresa Brady

When clinical trials were the center of attention this past year, another issue came to the forefront: the need for greater health equity in clinical trials. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) today announced the featured speakers at its first-ever BIO Clinical Trial Diversity Summit June 24-25, 2021.

The virtual summit will bring together stakeholders from across the clinical development spectrum to address inequities, learn from patient experts and help companies improve trials. The summit will culminate in the creation of a comprehensive vision for an equitable drug development ecosystem and transforming that vision into an actionable strategy to execute real change.

“More diverse clinical trials not only improve outcomes, but they also benefit the entire health care industry,” stated Ted W. Love, M.D., president and CEO of Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) and Chair of the Emerging Companies Section of the BIO Board of Directors, who will moderate the “Social and Business Imperative of Increasing Clinical Trial Diversity” session at the summit. “The BIO Clinical Trial Diversity summit brings together industry, community and clinical research leaders and patient advocates to help move this from conversation to action.”

Speakers include industry leaders, academics and health equity experts from across the field including:

  • Silas Buchanan, Co-founder and CEO, Institute for eHealth Equity
  • Dr. Cartier Esham, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, BIO
  • Dr. Julie Gerberding, MD, Chief Patient Officer, Executive VP of Population Health, Global Policy, Merck
  • David Coman, MBA, President and CEO of Science 37
  • Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, MD, PhD, President and CEO of BIO
  • Dr. Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Gilead
  • Dr. Elena V. Rios, MD, President and CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Hispanic Health Foundation
  • Dr. Darryl Sleep, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Amgen

Also speaking at the conference is Debra Fraser-Howze, founder of Choose Healthy Life, and principal with D. Fraser Associates. “It takes partnership and collaboration to solve the historical problem of racism and health inequities in health care,” she said. “I look forward to the opportunity to speak on community and patient engagement at the BIO Clinical Trial Diversity Summit. We have to build support with patients and advocates to have meaningful change.”

To counteract the systemic inequality, injustice and unfair treatment of underserved communities, BIO launched its BIOEquality Agenda in 2020. Enhancing clinical trials is at the heart of the agenda’s three pillars for change – Promote Health Equity, Invest in the Current and Next Generation of Scientists, and Expand Opportunity for Women and Other Underrepresented Populations.

Registration for the BIO Clinical Trial Diversity Summit is free and open to all participants.


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