TRENTON, NJ (September 27, 2022) – BioNJ, the voice of the life sciences industry in New Jersey, announced the launch of its Health Equity in Clinical Trials Initiative. Committed to the vision of Health Equity for All, BioNJ’s Health Equity in Clinical Trials Initiative will define concrete issues that can be remedied with impact, identify long-term interventions, support companies to improve equity and access in their clinical trials strategies, benchmark best practices and shape policy.

Clinical trials are the source of every new therapy. They represent a $15.2 billion enterprise in the U.S. alone. Yet for all the promise they represent – and investment they attract – substantial inequities in clinical trial enrollment limit the benefits to society at large, especially for people from historically marginalized groups that are underrepresented in clinical research.

“Health equity in clinical trials is critical to deepening the understanding of the safety and efficacy of medicines in under-represented populations, expanding access to medical innovation for these populations, and increasing dialogue among the biopharma industry, communities and health systems,” said Amadou Diarra, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Global Policy, Advocacy & Government Affairs for Bristol Myers Squibb; BioNJ Board Member and Chair of the BioNJ Health Equity in Clinical Trials Initiative. “The life sciences sector plays a major role in addressing equity of care, and BMS is dedicated to ensuring that no Patient is left behind. We are a proud supporter of BioNJ’s Health Equity in Clinical Trials Initiative.”

An important workstream of the Health Equity in Clinical Trials Initiative is an MBA Business Plan Case Competition. The goal of the Health Equity in Clinical Trials MBA Business Plan Case Competition is to promote the next generation of diverse clinical trial innovators and identify revolutionizing business models. Participating teams – each representing 4-5 diverse, cross-disciplinary students from an MBA and other allied graduate programs – will contribute innovative, out of the box ideas to improve health equity and transform clinical trials.

“By discovering new approaches, utilizing new technologies and developing new business standards to make trials more accessible, we can work to create more agile, efficient and Patient-centered medical research,” said BioNJ Chair and Chair and CEO of Insmed, Will Lewis. “The competition will include a Boot Camp on Clinical Trials for the students and provide cash prizes for winning teams, as well as opportunities for students to network with industry executives from global life sciences companies that are working to develop and deliver better treatments for common and rare diseases.”

In addition to the Business Case Competition, key deliverables from BioNJ’s Health Equity in Clinical Trials Initiative include:

  • New Jersey Baseline: BioNJ will partner with a variety of organizations with expertise in clinical trials recruitment to develop as clear a picture as possible of the current state of demographic representation in clinical trials throughout New Jersey and identify strategies to achieve more equitable access and participation.
  • Collecting & Connecting the Dots: BioNJ will create a publicly accessible virtual health equity portal featuring the work of innovator companies to increase information flow and collaboration between and amongst companies. There is currently no unified platform through which companies can share strategies and publicize their initiatives.

“I’d like to thank our Steering Committee, industry supporters and volunteers,” said BioNJ President and CEO, Debbie Hart. “BioNJ and our partners, which include Bristol Myers Squibb, Medidata, Amicus Therapeutics, PTC Therapeutics, Sanofi, Insmed, PsychoGenics, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Crowley Law are dedicated to helping Patients live longer better lives. Our goal is to deliver useful protocols and successful models that can be used nationally to strengthen diversity in clinical trials and expand health equity.”

“There is an urgent need to innovate clinical trials to better serve Patients and address gaps in health care delivery,” said Paul Howard, Ph.D., BioNJ Business Case Competition Steering Committee Chair and Senior Director, Public Policy for Amicus Therapeutics. “As a global, Patient-centric biotech company, Amicus is proud to be part of this important initiative. In particular, the Business Case Competition allows for out-of-the-box thinking by diverse, cross-functional teams to develop solutions or technologies that bring clinical trials to varied populations while allowing for stronger Patient engagement and retention.”

The MBA Business Plan Case Competition will feature two events in New Jersey, including a Bootcamp for the competing teams on October 29, 2022, which will provide a crash course on drug development and pain points that lead to disparities in clinical trial participation, and an in-person Pitch event on December 3, 2022, where competing teams will deliver their business plans for review and judging. All teams and proposals will be highlighted in a widely-circulated white paper following the competition, earning valuable visibility for competitors and their proposed solutions to this business critical challenge.

To learn how you and your organization can get involved and become a supporter of BioNJ’s Health Equity in Clinical Trials Initiative, contact Debbie Hart at For more information on the program, visit

About BioNJ
BioNJ is the life sciences trade association for New Jersey, representing close to 400 research-based life sciences organizations and stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem from the largest biopharmaceutical companies to early-stage start-ups for nearly 30 years. Because Patients Can’t Wait®, BioNJ is dedicated to ensuring a vibrant ecosystem where Science is Supported, Companies are Created, Drugs are Developed and Patients Have Access to Lifesaving Medicines.

Recognized as a respected thought leader, an influential advocate and a sought-after convener of the life sciences industry, BioNJ works directly with legislative leaders in both Trenton and Washington D.C. to advance the life sciences industry, foster medical innovation and ensure health equity and healthcare affordability. With innovation as the driving force behind medical breakthroughs, BioNJ’s mission is to help our Members help Patients by providing transformative resources, including access to government and industry leaders, capital and State incentives, timely educational programs, skilled talent and a value-driven purchasing program.

BioNJ is inspired by and privileged to work with those committed to improving the lives of Patients and their families around the world. For more information visit

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