Kroger Health is establishing a network of clinical trial sites to increase reach and access to research studies

The announcement comes in collaboration with the biopharmaceutical industry to launch a clinical trial for colorectal cancer

CINCINNATI, January 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), today announced the creation of its network of clinical trial sites in conjunction with sponsors from the pharmaceutical industry, contract research organizations and health systems. The announcement comes with Kroger’s first attempt at actively recruiting colorectal cancer and immune health monitoring.

In collaboration with Persephone Biosciences, Kroger Health is actively recruiting for the ARGONAUT clinical trial (NCT04638751) to identify microbiome-based biomarkers indicative of colorectal cancer. Starting in Toledo, Ohio area, select Kroger pharmacies and their affiliate, The Little Clinic LLC, locations will enroll their initial cohort of 55 people at varying levels of colorectal cancer risk to improve understanding of gut and immune health. Over the next year, Kroger Health plans to enroll additional participants and increase its locations.

“With our team of more than 24,000 healthcare professionals under the umbrella of America’s Grocer, we are positioned at the nexus of food and healthcare, providing us with a unique opportunity to increase access to clinical trial opportunities,” said Colleen Lindholtz, president of Kroger Health. “As a trusted community healthcare destination, we envision a future in which our work transforms the clinical trials landscape and provides expanded access to trials to the people we serve.”

According to the CDC, among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the leading cancer killer in the U.S.1. Screening for colorectal cancer is proven to save lives. About nine out of 10 people whose colorectal cancer is caught early and treated appropriately are still alive five years later2.

Kroger Health is seeking participants with the following risk factors:

  • Age 45 and older who need a colonoscopy according to their standard of care
  • Age 18 or older with one or more first-degree relatives with a history of colorectal cancer
  • Those who have had three or more polyps found during a colonoscopy or who have a personal history of colorectal cancer

A growing body of evidence suggests that the bacteria living in the gut can influence an individual’s risk of developing colorectal cancer. Data collected from this trial will be used to develop personalized medicines and find cancer-specific markers that can help guide future treatment and prevention strategies, such as using food as medicine.

Ninety percent of the US population lives within five miles of a pharmacy3, and fifty-one percent of all Kroger stores are located in disadvantaged areas. With select Kroger pharmacies and Little Clinics now serving as clinical trial sites, the American grocer is expanding its commitment to healthcare by creating research opportunities in the communities where customers live, work and eat. Along with the store’s data analytics capabilities, Kroger Health is able to engage a broader population in clinical trials. Digital tools, virtual care visits, and personalized communication will facilitate patient retention throughout the study lifecycle. In addition, its clinics, nutritionists, pharmacy services and relationships with other healthcare organizations allow Kroger Health to offer comprehensive clinical trial management within a variety of preventive and therapeutic areas.

“Through our collaboration with health systems across the country, we can work nimbly to optimize the patient experience to improve health care delivery and maintain continuity of care while expanding the boundaries of care and treatment,” said Jim Kirby, PharmD, chief commercial officer of Kroger Health. “This is the first of many clinical trial opportunities that will use us as an alternative to the traditional clinical trial and research organization model.”

Individuals interested in participating in the ARGONAUT study may call 1.833.317.0661 for more information on qualifications and training.

About Kroger
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) we are dedicated to our purpose: to feed the human spiritâ„¢. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates serving over 11 million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and retail grocery stores under various banner names, serving America by inspiring and elevating food and building communities #ZeroHungerZeroWaste by 2025 To learn more about us, visit our news and investor relations site.

About Kroger Health:
Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., is one of America’s leading healthcare retail organizations. Kroger Health and the Kroger family of pharmacies and clinics operate more than 2,200 pharmacies and 226 clinics in 35 states, serving more than 17 million customers annually. Our team of 24,000 healthcare practitioners, including pharmacists, nurses, dietitians and technicians, believe in practicing at the top of our licenses, enabling ‘food as medicine’ to help prevent disease before it starts and help people to live healthier lives. For more information, visit www.kroger.com/health.

About ARGONAUT:
The official title of the ARGONAUT study is: “Development and Analysis of a Blood and Fecal Sample Bank for Cancer Patients to Enable the Systematic Investigation of the Effect of Blood and Gut Microbiomes on Treatment Response.” More information can be found at https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ using the identifier NCT04638751.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Colorectal Cancer Statistics Colorectal Cancer Statistics | CDC Colorectal Cancer Statistics | CDC
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Basic Information on Colorectal Cancer | CDC Basic Information on Colorectal Cancer | CDC
  3. Strand MA, Bratberg J, Eukel H, Hardy M, Williams C. The contribution of community pharmacists to disease management during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Erratum appears in Prev Chronic Dis 2020;17. http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2020/20_0317e.htm.] Previous Chronic Dis 2020; 17: 200317. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd17.200317external icon

SOURCE The Kroger Co.

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