Case Study: Axovant Sciences
Athletes Help Beat the Odds in Clinical Trial Recruitment


Enrolling a clinical trial to completion typically requires 36-48 months, but Axovant was on a tight schedule for its Phase 3 Alzheimer’s disease drug candidate. The team at Russo Partners was eager to take on the challenge of recruiting patients at a record speed.


Sports-Health Alliance team leader Solomon Wilcots recruited former NFL stars Steve Tasker, Ron Pitts, Christian Fauria, Joey Harrington and Joe Rose on a “Huddle Up for Alzheimer’s” campaign.

In order to call attention to Alzheimer’s disease and Axovant’s clinical trial, we launched a campaign with a video produced in-house by Russo Partners, and a subsequent social media initiative leveraging the hashtag #HuddleUpAD. Next, our athletes engaged in a media blitz at Super Bowl 50, participating in more than 50 events arranged by Russo Partners.


The campaign exceeded all output expectations and was heralded by Alzheimer’s key opinion leaders and professional athletes, resulting in:

  • Major news placements, including The Wall Street Journal
  • Several million impressions through national and local market media
  • High engagement rates on social media posts using #HuddleUpAD
  • An overwhelming response at the clinical trial call center to the point where Axovant increased staffing to handle the volume

Bottom Line: Axovant completed clinical trial recruitment of more than 1,100 subjects in just 12 months, a record setting speed.