Impact:
Improving lives worldwide

Every day, people around the world reap the benefits of research. At WCG Foundation (WCGF), our goal is to extend those benefits further so they can reach people of all populations and circumstances.

With help from generous partners, WCGF focuses on compassion, inclusion, and education. We regard these as central to the success, quality, and purpose of clinical research. Already, we can point to accomplishments for each of our three priorities.

Compassion
We have tackled the issue of expanded access from multiple perspectives—patient, physician, and IRB—and made progress on all fronts by:

  • Streamlining IRB procedures for expanded access, resulting in shorter review times.
  • Eliminating fees for IRB review by arranging a no-cost option.
  • Creating a needs assessment tool to help institutions develop effective efforts to address gaps in physician education.
  • Working directly with patients to help them navigate the expanded access process and get IRB approval within days of their request.
  • Serving as a referral point for FDA and the Reagan-Udall Foundation Expanded Access Navigator.

Inclusion
We are laying the foundation for a pilot program to increase the diversity of populations participating in clinical research. Our intent is to serve as the convener and catalyst. We are reaching out to community health providers and the medical community and connecting them with research organizations.

Our goal is for patients from underrepresented populations to have the same access to clinical trials as members of majority populations. At the same time, by increasing the diversity of the clinical trial cohort, we can help generate more accurate, representative results.

Watch for more details on this exciting project in the weeks to come.

Education
Our most significant education initiative to date supported the development of a research ethics curriculum at New York University Langone Medical Center (NYULMC). We also supported faculty participation in lectures, webinars, panel discussions, and other outreach efforts. As a result:

  • More than 400 doctors, residents, and medical students in cancer, medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, and surgery participated in rounds presentations on research ethics.
  • Research professionals from institutions worldwide attended presentations on ethical considerations of expanded access to experimental medicines (compassionate use).
  • More than 3,000 students attended lectures on research ethics and integrity.
  • NYULMC faculty developed six new courses on research ethics and integrity, including the first such course for graduate engineering students.
  • NYULMC faculty produced more than 45 publications related to the ethics of human subjects protections, clinical trial design, clinical trial recruitment, clinical trial transparency and data-sharing, access to medicines, and compassionate use of experimental therapies.