Roche kicks-off pilot of “Advancing Inclusive Research” site alliance project at UCH to raise inclusive standard clinical trials in Africa
Roche announced today that it has entered into collaboration with the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State to kick-start its Advancing Inclusive Research (AIR) Africa Site Alliance Project – an innovative alliance with healthcare ecosystems to raise inclusive standard clinical trials in Africa.
Roche is partnering with healthcare ecosystem stakeholders to lay a foundation for standard clinical trials on the African continent, which ranks as one of the underrepresented populations in global clinical trials. African patients make up less than two per cent of patients enrolled in global pharma studies, and make up only about one per cent of genomic data while shouldering more than 24 per cent of global disease burden.
“There is increasing pressure from healthcare stakeholders such as FDA for greater diversity of underrepresented populations in global clinical trials. Only 63 African patients were included in Roche clinical trials during 2020 compared to the 17 per cent of total world population present on the continent. These conditions may become exacerbated without any intervention. This lack of clinical trial data for African patients limits access and the availability of innovative treatment to African patients,” said Ladi Hameed, General Manager of Roche Products Nigeria Limited.
“The vision of the Roche Advancing Inclusive Research (AIR) Africa Site Alliance project is to create a site network in Africa to enable recruitment and retention of underrepresented patient populations to enrich science and enable delivery of innovation so we can eliminate disparity in outcomes for all patients.”
UCH is one of the four AIR Africa Site Alliance project centres of excellence across Africa with the others located in Kenya, Morocco and South Africa.
Hameed added that the collaboration is aligned to Roche’s global commitment to the pursuit of scientific excellence and innovation for the discovery and development of medical and diagnostic solutions for improving and saving the lives of people around the world.
“The University College Hospital, Ibadan is Nigeria’s premier tertiary health institution notable for delivering qualitative medicare services. The establishment of the Roche Advancing Inclusive Research (AIR) Africa Site Alliance project further bolsters the collaborative efforts of government and private sector to improve diversity and inclusion in clinical research in Nigeria, and indeed across Africa. This site alliance project will ultimately improve access to clinical trials by hospitals, specialists and healthcare practitioners alike using UCH as a Centre of Excellence in Nigeria,” he stated.
Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, Chief Medical Director of UCH, said: “This initiative further affirms Roche as a valuable partner within the healthcare ecosystem committed to bridging the inequality and lack of diversity that has characterised the clinical trial landscape on the African continent. The management and the entire UCH community including all our internal and stakeholders are indeed, very excited at the Roche Advancing Inclusive Research (AIR) Africa Site Alliance project being at the University College Hospital.”
He expressed the confidence that as Nigeria’s premier tertiary health institution, the new facility on completion would boost the capacity of the hospital and personnel to deliver more excellent service delivery. He further assured the company that the centre would be put to judicious use while thanking Roche for making UCH the choice centre of excellence for the project.