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Expansion aims to continue to create programs that address health and education inequities.
With the goal of diversifying clinical trials, breaking down economic and educational barriers, and creating greater trust across research and development, Novartis announced on July 12, 2023 the inclusion of six new organizations to its Beacon of Hope Initiative. The company selected the new organizations to provide tools and expertise to enable the Historically Black Medical School Centers of Excellence to accelerate progress on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical trials and support new research into healthcare disparities.
Those organizations include:
According to the Novartis press release,1 Advarra will support clinical trial-site management, BeeKeeperAI is providing a privacy-preserving collaboration platform that enables protected algorithms to compute on real-world data, and Virb will help with the sourcing and training of clinical trial coordinators and research study staff. Amgen and Alnylam will run clinical trials through the Centers of Excellence. Alnylam, specifically, also intends to offer an opportunity for under-represented students who want to pursue careers in drug development to attend a summer fellowship program.
Lastly, GBEF joins the Beacon of Hope to empower the next generation of diverse leaders in STEM while working to address economic disparities. They will offer career training and leadership development programs to students enrolled in Novartis and Thurgood Marshall College Fund scholarship and mentorship programs.
"Our relentless commitment to the success of Beacon of Hope led us to undertake a comprehensive assessment of where we have made important progress and where we still have gaps to fulfilling the mission of the program,” said Linda Armstrong, US Novartis Foundation President, head of Novartis US corporate responsibility, in the company press release. “We actively sought out collaborations with organizations that both possess the expertise necessary to bridge these gaps—particularly on the technology front—and that share our unwavering mission to tackle the fundamental factors that contribute to health and education disparities."