Back to Newsroom

A Comprehensive Clinical Trial Recruitment Campaign

In the fall of 2015, Axovant Sciences, a New York-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of dementia, had initiated its pivotal Phase 3 MINDSET study to investigate its compound RVT-101 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The FDA had agreed to a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) for the study, which would enable the company to file for approval with positive data from this single Phase 3 study.

Axovant engaged Russo Partners to address a specific challenge associated with Alzheimer’s clinical programs – the ability to recruit and retain patients for clinical trials. Not only do these studies require both a patient and caregiver to participate, but sponsors are often competing with other clinical trials for participants. And Axovant had an aggressive goal – enroll the MINDSET Study in one year to enable the submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) in 2017.

Russo Partners created a comprehensive clinical trial recruitment campaign that was focused on two strategies: first, local in-market media work to reach potential caregivers and patients and to let them know about an exciting clinical study in their area, and, second, a broader national campaign to drive appropriate patients to be screened for Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Local Media Outreach: We worked directly with Axovant’s clinical trial sites in key markets around the U.S. to secure local publicity in both print and broadcast outlets for the MINDSET Study. Both the study’s investigators and patients being screened into the study were able to share their hope for a new treatment that could result in an approved product near term, not five years in the future.
  • Huddle Up – A National Alzheimer’s Campaign: We partnered with Solomon Wilcots, a former American football free safety in the NFL and a current national television analyst and broadcaster, to assemble a group of role models including retired NFL players and world-renowned sports agent, Leigh Steinberg, to set the example for Alzheimer’s screenings and to encourage members of the general public to follow suit. We kicked off publicity activities at Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco, where we conducted 34 on-site interviews with national and local market media outlets. We have subsequently hosted Huddle Up screening events with retired players and Alzheimer’s investigators in Miami, Cincinnati, Portland, Los Angeles, Toronto and Boston.

Not only do our results to date include significant output, like this feature story in the Albany Times Union, but Axovant’s clinical trial sites have seen an uptick in patient inquiries, screenings and ultimately enrollment helping them to advance the MINDSET study as efficiently as possible.