Pfizer-Headlands Team-Up Looks to Boost Trial Diversity

A year has passed since pharma giant Pfizer pledged to improve geographical diversity in order to include more diverse populations in its multifarious clinical trials. Now, with help from San Francisco-based Headlands Research, Pfizer is making good on its promise.

The diversity gap in the life sciences sector in particular is reflected in the typical participants in its clinical trials. Latino and Black populations bear the brunt of specific diseases tied to their genetic heritage, and their lack of inclusion in biomedical research undertakings does little to address these problems. Studies have even proven that quite a few broad-spectrum medications, including asthma drug albuterol, are less effective in minorities.

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Headlands is in this partnership for the long haul, and its multi-year commitment entails establishing clinical trial sites in the aforementioned areas of the county where highly diverse populations can be found. First up will be Brownsville, Texas, as many of the 186,738 people living there and in surrounding areas are of Latino heritage. The unknown factor as of now is what kind of trials the collaboration intends to launch in Brownsville and subsequent locations.

The FDA released new draft guidance last month that also spoke to the need for increased diversity in trial participants. Said guidance suggests that an early clinical development priority for drug and medical product developers should be drawing up a detailed Race and Ethnicity Diversity Plan.