Amgen commits $8m to clinical trial diversity programme

The Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program has been pledged $8 million over the next four years by Amgen.

Amgen commits $8m to clinical trial diversity programme

Over the next four years, Amgen has committed to contribute $8 million to the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program (Winn Award Program), established by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF).

The contribution will enable the programme to reach additional physicians and medical students, further expanding the initiative that aims to extend the reach of clinical trials in underserved patient populations in US communities.

The Winn Award Program has so far trained 114 early-stage investigator physicians. The additional support from Amgen is set to reach more than 300 diverse and community-oriented clinical investigators by 2027.

“With the skills, experience and networks they will gain… in the Winn Award Program, [the programme participants] will make a significant difference in how healthcare is delivered in the US,” stated Jude Ngang, Executive Director, and leader of the Amgen Representation in Clinical Research (RISE) programme.

Diversity in clinical trials

Diversity in clinical trials is a longstanding challenge. Currently close to 80 percent of participants in clinical research trials are white, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Lack of diversity in clinical trials hinders the ability to eliminate health disparities and ensure medicines are safe and effective for all patients. To address this issue, the BMSF created the Winn Award Program in 2020 as part of its commitment to health equity, inclusion and diversity.

“It is no secret that the current state of clinical research does not reflect the diversity of the US population,” observed John Damonti, President, Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF). “As we strive to ensure that safe and effective medicines and therapies are available for all across the nation, we are honoured to have Amgen serve as a supporter of the Winn Award Program in achieving this vision.”

Draft guidance to improve US clinical trial diversity

The Winn Award Program currently offers two awards:

  • Winn CDA is a two-year programme designed to support diverse physicians and those who have demonstrated commitment to increasing diversity in clinical trial research within their local communities
  • Winn CIPP is a six-week summer externship during which diverse medical students are provided an immersive experience in community-based clinical research.

The BMSF pledged $100 million to support 250 Winn CDAs and 250 Winn CIPPs over the span of the programme.

About the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation

The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, a charitable organisation, focuses on communities most at risk of suffering the impacts of serious diseases in regions that are hardest hit. It empowers partners to develop and test innovative solutions to advance health equity and improve access to quality healthcare for patients. Grant making focuses on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and immunologic disease, as well as clinical trial diversity in the US, and prevalent cancers in nine African countries, Brazil and China.