Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) has announced a $5m sponsorship from the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson in support of an initiative to increase diversity in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials for cancer.

With the Janssen sponsorship, SU2C will be able to support its health equity efforts, which include funding four researcher groups.

These groups will help develop new approaches for eliminating clinical trial participation barriers for individuals of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, with a focus on medically underserved communities.

The programme is aimed at addressing disparities in cancer by creating a scalable, sustainable and replicable approach.

This helps remove barriers to Phase I and Phase II participation in cancer clinical trials.

Janssen Research & Development Oncology Early Clinical Development and Translational Research global head Jeffrey Infante said: “We look forward to working with Stand Up To Cancer on this important initiative as part of our ongoing commitment to building diversity, equity and inclusion not just in our late phase clinical research but also in our early clinical development programmes.

“As an oncology community, we must come together to prioritise engaging patients from all backgrounds in clinical trials and, at the same time, support research that seeks to understand and overcome the barriers to clinical trial participation.”

As a part of the Health Equity Initiative of SU2C, the Janssen-funded Diversity in Early Development Clinical Trials Program will encourage partnerships in four regions.

They will be determined by the selected groups of funded researchers who will collaborate with Federally Qualified Health Centers, local advocacy organisations and clinics.

Over the course of the grant period, the research teams will meet and share progress and findings for ensuring the incorporation of best practices into the programme.

Offering dedicated support for community awareness, SU2C will provide additional funding for local community advocacy organisations in support of these efforts.

Last November, Janssen reported positive results from the Phase II GALAXI 1 trial of Tremfya (guselkumab) in adult patients with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease (CD).