The Chief Scientific Officer at Sampled1 issued a call to action for greater diversity in clinical trial recruitment and the collection of biosamples in a letter in the current issue of Biopreservation and Biobanking.
The letter by Sheldon et al, “Biobanks and International Initiatives Are Playing a Critical Role in Redressing Historic Inadequacies in Biosample and Data Access from Underrepresented Minority Populations,” states that the development of effective precision medicine tests must have broad representation from Underrepresented Minority (URM) populations in sample collection, processing and analysis.
“Genomic testing is revolutionizing the development of medicines, and Sampled is at the forefront of helping companies and academic institutions to unlock the genetic information that will lead to new treatments and cures,” said, Shareef Nahas, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Sampled. “However, the basis for these advancements lies in the ability of researchers to identify patterns and characteristics from many kinds of genetic profiles. Greater diversity in the collection of biomaterials and biosamples will speed our ability to develop and implement cutting-edge analytical approaches.”
“Biobanks such as Sampled play a critical role in helping to address the historic lack of representation of minority communities in medical research,” said Robin Grimwood, Founder and CEO of Sampled. “For instance, our Minnesota laboratory collaborated with state public health officials to offer free COVID testing to local minority communities. Our focus on public outreach and communication about the importance of testing, along with our ability to combine storage, management, and analytical approaches in one facility made this joint effort with the state health officials a great success.”
Traditionally, as many as 86% of participants in clinical trials have been characterized as being of European descent2. Contributors to these racial and ethnic disparities include inadequate clinical trial recruitment programs and mistrust of the medical community by those in minority communities. Dr. Nahaas calls on the biopharma industry to increase outreach to URM communities, and to implement studies and testing in strict compliance with regulations over protected health information, adherence to validated standard operating procedures for processing genomic data and a storage infrastructure designed to safeguard specimen integrity.
About Sampled and Sampled SMART Labs
Sampled is a next-generation laboratory that unlocks the valuable data in any biological sample. Through our integrated “Sampled SMART Lab” services, we can Store, Manage, Analyze, Research and Transport biological materials, offering partners a seamless solution for all research samples. Our vision is a world where we make it faster and easier for health innovators to improve human health, with a mission for Sampled SMART Labs to be behind every transformative health innovation. Sampled is headquartered in Piscataway, N.J. with labs across the US and Europe and partner labs in the Netherlands, China and Australia.
Infinity BiologiX LLC, Roylance Stability Storage Limited and Roylance Scientific Limited are doing business as Sampled. For more information, please visit www.sampled.com
1. Infinity BiologiX LLC, Roylance Stability Storage Limited and Roylance Scientific Limited are doing business as Sampled.
2. Fatumo S, Chikowore T, Choudhury A, Ayub M, Martin AR, Kuchenbaecker K. A roadmap to increase diversity in genomic studies. Nat Med. 2022;28(2):243-250. doi:10.1038/s41591-021-01672-4