SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — A North Carolina-based clinical research company in dire need of minority volunteers is setting up shop 3,000 miles away near the Tijuana-San Diego border in the city of Chula Vista, Calif.
Velocity Clinical Research just acquired eStudySite Inc., as a way to establish roots in the San Diego market, which is home to a diverse population including many Latinos.
Velocity recruits people for clinical trials all over the country. Right now, it is participating in ongoing COVID-19 studies and is seeking to recruit more than 20,000 volunteers.
Its Chula Vista facility is expected to enroll Latinos and other demographics for clinical trials for both a COVID-19 treatment and vaccine trials.
Dr. Paul Evans, CEO and president of Velocity Clinical Research, said his company has been aggressively expanding for two main reasons.
“Firstly, these sites are important for recruiting volunteers from minority communities, and secondly, we anticipate a resurgence in the infectious disease area,” he said. “2020 has been an unprecedented year for the clinical trials business and finding a coronavirus vaccine will
probably be the most important work of our lives.”
Evans said finding a vaccine won’t happen unless members of minority groups, especially Latinos, get involved in clinical trials.
“The industry has a problem when it comes to recruiting volunteers from minority communities, and so they are severely underrepresented in clinical trial data. This problem has been magnified in the race to find a COVID vaccine. It will take myriad solutions to ensure people from these communities feel comfortable volunteering in clinical research and one step is having more accessible clinics,” Evans said.
Velocity Clinical Research is enrolling patients in COVID-19 studies at 10 sites in the US, including Ohio, Florida, California, Texas, Rhode Island, Utah, Idaho and Oregon.
Anyone interested in participating, especially Latinos, is encouraged to apply at www.velocityclinicalresearch.com.