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SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: GBT) today announced that five nonprofit organizations have been awarded more than $200,000 in grants through the company’s new Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients Pilot Program (ACCEL).
Five grant recipients – the Center for Comprehensive Care and Diagnosis of Inherited Blood Disorders (CIBD) and the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation (SCDF), the James R. Clark Memorial Sickle Cell Foundation, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the MAVEN Project (Medical Alumni Volunteer Expert Network) and the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia – will each receive grants to accelerate the development of promising programs that have the potential over time to deliver high-quality healthcare to people living with sickle cell disease (SCD).
“We created the ACCEL program to help address the significant challenges that people living with SCD face every day in accessing quality healthcare in their communities. One solution to addressing these inequities is to encourage non-profit organizations to develop innovative programs that can ensure more children and adults living with SCD get access to high-quality care,” said Jung E. Choi, chief business and strategy officer, and head of patient advocacy and government affairs at GBT. “We are thankful to the many applicants who submitted compelling proposals.”
GBT launched ACCEL in February 2019 to provide grant funding to U.S.-based nonprofit organizations serving patients with SCD and their families to support novel projects to improve SCD patients’ access to high-quality healthcare. Submitted proposals were reviewed by a panel of GBT and external stakeholders with expertise in the issues affecting people with SCD. The panel selected the grant recipients based on strength of the proposal, degree of innovation and highest potential impact to patient care.
“ACCEL is important for people living with sickle cell disease because it will speed the development of innovative and practical programs. Such programs are created by medical professionals and community-based organizations who work with these patients and their families every day,” said Lewis Hsu, M.D., a member of the review panel and director of the Sickle Cell Center and professor of pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “We selected the grant recipients because of our confidence in their ability to significantly improve the lives of adults and children with SCD by helping them access consistent, quality healthcare.”
ACCEL Grant Recipients
The organizations receiving ACCEL grants and their SCD programs include:
For more information about GBT’s grants program and other corporate giving, visit https://www.gbt.com/patients/funding-and-support/.
About Sickle Cell Disease
SCD is a lifelong inherited blood disorder caused by a genetic mutation in the beta-chain of hemoglobin, which leads to the formation of abnormal hemoglobin known as sickle hemoglobin (HbS). In its deoxygenated state, HbS has a propensity to polymerize, or bind together, forming long, rigid rods within a red blood cell (RBC). The polymer rods deform RBCs to assume a sickled shape and to become inflexible, which causes hemolytic anemia (low hemoglobin due to RBC destruction) that can lead to multi-organ damage and early death. This sickling process also causes blockage in capillaries and small blood vessels. Beginning in childhood, SCD patients typically suffer unpredictable and recurrent episodes or crises of severe pain due to blocked blood flow to organs, which often lead to psychosocial and physical disabilities.
GBT is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company determined to discover, develop and deliver innovative treatments that provide hope to underserved patient communities. GBT is developing its lead product candidate, voxelotor, as an oral, once-daily therapy for sickle cell disease. To learn more, please visit www.gbt.com and follow the company on Twitter @GBT_news.
Stephanie Yao (investors & media)