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Newly created GBT Community Fund to provide $150,000 in grants to U.S. non-profits addressing the needs of the sickle cell disease community
Donation of $100,000 to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America to provide immediate support to those living with sickle cell disease
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (GBT) today announced a commitment of $250,000 to support the sickle cell disease (SCD) community in the United States at a time of immediate and overwhelming need during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The company has established the GBT Community Fund through which GBT will provide $150,000 in grants for United States non-profit organizations that are supporting the acute needs of patients and their families during the crisis. GBT has also made a donation of $100,000 to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) in response to its urgent call for its COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
“In the face of COVID-19, many individuals and families living with sickle cell disease are facing serious and overwhelming challenges as a result of the pandemic, leaving them with a wide range of critical needs,” said Ted W. Love, M.D., president and chief executive officer of GBT. “Patients and caregivers battling this devastating disorder need help during this unprecedented time, and GBT is proud to support this community, with which we have long been a partner. It was important for us to make it as easy as possible for a national organization like SCDAA and local community-based organizations around the country to access much needed resources.”
The SCD community is in a time of crisis, as many patients and family members struggle to access critical services and require help to meet their basic needs, including access to food, water, other daily supplies, protective gear, transportation, mental health services, and more. The GBT Community Fund will disperse $150,000 in grants to address these needs and help fund direct relief for patients and families in the SCD community.
To ensure that this emergency support quickly reaches the sickle cell community, GBT has established a simple and rapid grant application process. Any U.S. non-profit organization working to address the immediate needs of the SCD community is eligible to apply for individual grants. Grant applications will be accepted until Friday, April 17, 2020, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. More information about the GBT Community Fund, including instructions on applying for a grant, can be found here.
In addition to the GBT Community Fund, GBT has made an immediate donation of $100,000 to the SCDAA, the largest patient organization in the U.S. dedicated to SCD, in response to its call for urgent support for its COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
“Right now, we in the sickle cell disease community are facing an unparalleled challenge due to the ever-changing pandemic, and it’s vital that we work together to support those who are most impacted,” said Beverley Francis-Gibson, president of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. “With GBT’s support, we surpassed our initial goal of raising $100,000 in 10 days and now have critical resources to deploy to our non-profit member organizations that are on the front lines supporting the urgent health, economic and other basic needs of sickle cell disease patients.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified SCD as one of the underlying medical conditions that may increase the risk of a serious COVID-19 infection, as people with SCD are often immunocompromised and at a greater risk for infections.1 Additionally, sickle cell care requires a multidisciplinary approach to address the varied consequences of the disease, and access to care can always be challenging but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects an estimated 100,000 people in the United States and millions of people throughout the world, particularly among those whose ancestors are from sub-Saharan Africa. It also affects people of Hispanic, South Asian, Southern European and Middle Eastern ancestry.2 SCD is a lifelong inherited blood disorder that impacts hemoglobin, a protein carried by red blood cells that delivers oxygen to tissues and organs throughout the body.3 Due to a genetic mutation, people with SCD form abnormal hemoglobin known as sickle hemoglobin. Through a process called hemoglobin polymerization, red blood cells become sickled – deoxygenated, crescent-shaped and rigid.3-5 The sickling process causes hemolytic anemia (low hemoglobin due to red blood cell destruction) and blockages in capillaries and small blood vessels, which impede the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. The diminished oxygen delivery to tissues and organs can lead to life-threatening complications, including stroke and irreversible organ damage.5-7
About Global Blood Therapeutics
Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and delivery of life-changing treatments that provide hope to underserved patient communities. Founded in 2011, GBT is delivering on its goal to transform the treatment and care of sickle cell disease (SCD), a lifelong, devastating inherited blood disorder. The company has introduced Oxbryta® (voxelotor), the first FDA-approved treatment that directly inhibits sickle hemoglobin polymerization, the root cause of SCD. GBT is also advancing its pipeline program in SCD with inclacumab, a p-selectin inhibitor in development to address pain crises associated with the disease. In addition, GBT’s drug discovery teams are working on new targets to develop the next generation of treatments for SCD. To learn more, please visit www.gbt.com and follow the company on Twitter @GBT_news.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements containing the words “will,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “believes,” “forecast,” “estimates,” “expects” and “intends,” or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on GBT’s current expectations and actual results could differ materially. Statements in this press release may include statements that are not historical facts and are considered forward-looking within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. GBT intends these forward-looking statements, including statements regarding GBT’s focus, priorities, goals and vision, reducing the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, slowing the trajectory of the illness, supporting public health efforts, SCD patients and healthcare professionals, the activities of GBT and its representatives and reevaluating such activities, digital and internet-based education and outreach, meeting the needs of the SCD community, the availability, use and functionality of GBT Source, having sufficient supply of Oxbryta to sustain patient need through the remainder of the year and into 2021, the safety, efficacy and mechanism of action of Oxbryta and other product characteristics, the availability, use, commercialization and commercial and medical potential of Oxbryta, the need for Oxbryta and other SCD treatments, transforming the treatment and care of SCD, and advancing GBT’s pipeline and discovering, developing and delivering treatments, to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act, and GBT makes this statement for purposes of complying with those safe harbor provisions. These forward-looking statements reflect GBT’s current views about its plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects, which are based on the information currently available to the company and on assumptions the company has made. GBT can give no assurance that the plans, intentions, expectations or strategies will be attained or achieved, and, furthermore, actual results may differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements and will be affected by a variety of risks and factors that are beyond GBT’s control including, without limitation, compliance with the funding and other obligations under the Pharmakon loan, the timing and progress of GBT’s and Syros’ research and development activities under their collaboration, the amount and timing of resources devoted by each of such parties to activities under the collaboration, the risks that GBT has only recently established its commercialization capabilities and may not be able to successfully commercialize Oxbryta, the impact of public health risks, such as the recent spread of the COVID-19 virus, risks associated with GBT’s dependence on third parties for supply, development, manufacture and commercialization activities related to Oxbryta, government and third-party payor actions, including those relating to reimbursement and pricing, risks and uncertainties relating to competitive products and other changes that may limit demand for Oxbryta, the risks regulatory authorities may require additional studies or data to support continued commercialization of Oxbryta, the risks that drug-related adverse events may be observed during commercialization or clinical development, and data and results may not meet regulatory requirements or otherwise be sufficient for further development, regulatory review or approval, along with those risks set forth in GBT’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties and other important factors in GBT’s subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, GBT assumes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf. Accessed March 31, 2020.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/data.html. Accessed June 3, 2019.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Sickle Cell Disease. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sickle-cell-disease. Accessed August 5, 2019.
Rees DC, et al. Lancet. 2010;376(9757):2018-2031.
Kato GJ, et al. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2018;4:18010.
Kato GJ, et al. J Clin Invest. 2017;127(3):750-760.
Caboot JB, et al. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2014;15(1):17-23.
Steven Immergut (media)
Stephanie Yao (investors)