The Kroger Company is the latest retailer looking to leverage its relationship with consumers to gain market share in the clinical trial space.
Its healthcare division, Kroger Health, is recruiting participants in the Persephone Biosciences-funded Argonaut clinical study, which identifies biomarkers for colorectal cancer and other types of solid tumors to help guide treatment options. Select Kroger pharmacies and The Little Clinic locations, starting in the Toledo, Ohio area, will enroll an initial group of 55 people at varying risk levels for the disease. Kroger plans to add participants and locations over the next year.
Kroger Health says its ability to analyze data will allow it to reach more people for clinical trials, including underserved communities that are frequently excluded from the research process. The Cincinnati-based company says its group of clinics, dietitians and pharmaceutical services, plus partnerships with healthcare organizations, will help manage the trial from start to finish.
Kroger’s footprint spans more than 2,200 pharmacies and 226 clinics across 35 states.
A spokesperson for Kroger did not immediately respond to a request for details about the launch, including expansion plans and financial investments, or for an interview with executives.
Kroger’s involvement follows a growing trend among retailers hoping to scale up their clinical trial operations. CVS Health launches clinical trials in 2021, and Walgreens follows suit in mid-2022. In late 2022, Walmart announced its intention to begin recruiting clinical trial participants, putting it in competition with two drugstore chains.