Freenome and Morehouse Present Research on Study Participation Among Black Patients

– Study finds recruitment of Black patients at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) matches other study sites

– Study receives Poster of Distinction Award at Digestive Disease Week annual meeting

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, 2021 — Freenome, a privately held biotech company, together with the Morehouse School of Medicine, presented findings at the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) annual meeting showing high clinical study enrollment of Black patients using various strategies to reduce participation barriers. The poster addresses underrepresentation of Black people in clinical studies and was recognized with a Poster of Distinction Award.

This research was initiated in 2021 as part of PREEMPT CRC, a study to validate a blood test to detect colorectal cancer (CRC) and advanced adenomas. Freenome and Morehouse researchers examined the enrollment rate of Black patients at Morehouse School of Medicine, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and study site, compared to White patients at 168 other study sites over a 7-month evaluation period.

The HBCU site ranked in the top 11th percentile for patient enrollment across all study sites.

Researchers found that by implementing various strategies, the enrollment rate among Black participants at Morehouse was quite high, compared to other study sites. The HBCU site enlisted racially congruent recruitment staff, synchronized timing of consent and study procedures, and recorded detailed information for all patients.

PREEMPT CRC is Freenome’s large registrational study for CRC screening using a standard blood draw. The study closed enrollment earlier this month and includes more than 35,000 participants across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups from every state in the continental United States. While African American and Hispanic populations typically represent only 5% and 1% of clinical trial participants, respectively, early data from PREEMPT CRC indicates that the study includes approximately 11.3% Blacks and 10.3% Hispanics.

“Black patients are typically underrepresented in clinical trials for a variety of reasons, one big reason being a lack of access to trials,” said Julia Liu, M.D., Morehouse School of Medicine and PREEMPT CRC clinical investigator. “These findings demonstrate that, with the right steps, Black patients will participate in clinical studies at the same if not higher rate than White patients.”

“Our screening tests are for everyone—and part of that is ensuring that our clinical studies include everyone,” said Lance Baldo, M.D., chief medical officer at Freenome. “Health equity and a strong commitment to all patients is essential to the future of healthcare.”

About Morehouse School of Medicine 

Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. An independent and private historically-Black medical school, MSM was recognized by the Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation’s number one medical school in fulfilling a social mission—the creation and advancement of health equity. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care. MSM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master’s degrees. To learn more about programs and donate today, please visit or call 404-752-1500.


Sarah Anderson

About Freenome

Freenome is a biotechnology company with a comprehensive multiomics platform for the early detection of cancer using a standard blood draw. The company combines its deep expertise in molecular biology with advanced computational biology and machine learning to detect disease-associated patterns among billions of circulating cell-free biomarkers. Freenome is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.