While Black individuals are more likely than white individuals to develop Alzheimer's disease, they are less likely to be enrolled in drug trials for the disease, Bloomberg reports.
It analyzed 83 different Alzheimer's disease drug trials using data from clinicaltrials.gov or published studies and found that only 2 percent of trial participants in the last 10 years were Black. In particular, Bloomberg reports that the two late-stage trials of Biogen's Alzheimer's disease drug Aduhelm had 19 Black participants, or 0.6 percent of the total 3,285 participants. By comparison, it notes that 9.6 percent of adults in the US 65 years old or older are Black.
"We're not just trying to get a representative population because it's a nice, politically correct thing to do," Stephanie Monroe, executive director of AfricanAmericansAgainstAlzheimer's, part of the nonprofit UsAgainstAlzheimer's, tells Bloomberg. "Drugs will work differently in different populations."
Maha Radhakrishnan, Biogen's chief medical officer, tells Bloomberg that the company is aiming to have Black and Hispanic individuals make up 18 percent of participants in its new Aduhelm trial. Other companies are also looking to boost the diversity of their trials, including by recruiting patients from outside of large research hospital settings.