Ro has entered an agreement with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) unit National Institute on Aging (NIA) to diversify registration in clinical trials, leveraging its telehealth platform. 

The parties will create the ‘Registry for Equal Access to Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)’ (REACT-AD) initiative. 

Under the deal, Ro will utilise its telehealth platform to monitor and recruit patients who could be at high risk for AD or associated dementia to become part of the registry of potential subjects in trials funded and carried out by the NIA. 

The REACT-AD initiative aims to diversify the subjects recruited for trials using Ro’s telemedicine platform which serves as a wide and decentralised population. 

Ro expects that telemedicine can aid this process by lowering some of the barriers usually faced by the subjects, such as transportation requirements, time off work, or childcare for several trips to a study facility, clinic, or lab for testing. 

The distinctive feature of the trial is that each step of recruitment, screening, and evaluation can be carried out in the at-home setting of the patients and at their convenience.

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The company will carry out a feasibility study this month in patients aged 50 to 65 years who have pursued treatment through the platform and reside within 50 miles of two NIA clinical centres. 

Selected patients can take part in further screening using the platform that will asynchronously obtain necessary, structured data including a family history of AD, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute’s online cognitive test. 

Ro co-founder and CEO Zachariah Reitano said: “This is a unique opportunity to work closely with the NIA to support their extensive research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and to use Ro’s technology to help advance more patient-centric clinical trials. 

“Ro’s platform was built to advance access to innovative treatments and high-quality care for patients regardless of demographic, insurance coverage, or zip code, and we are excited to do the same for clinical research.”