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GBT Launches ACCEL Grants Program to Improve Access to Care for People with Sickle Cell Disease

—The Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients Pilot Program (ACCEL) Supports Novel Projects Aimed at Improving Access to High-Quality Healthcare for People with Sickle Cell Disease—

—GBT Will Fund Proposals With the Highest Potential to Impact Patient Care—

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Feb. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: GBT) today announced the launch of the Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients Pilot Program (ACCEL) to provide grant funding to support novel projects aimed at improving access to high-quality healthcare for sickle cell patients in the United States.

GBT will fund as many as three proposals up to $50,000 each to accelerate the development of promising programs with the potential over time to deliver high-quality healthcare to people living with sickle cell disease (SCD).

“Studies show that healthcare delivery to people living with SCD is typically suboptimal. For example, in the United States, fewer than 10 percent of Medicaid and Medicare patients living with SCD see a hematologist at least once per year and approximately 20 percent of SCD patients receive most of their care in the emergency room,” said Jung Choi, who oversees patient advocacy and government affairs at GBT. “We are excited to launch ACCEL to encourage the development of innovative solutions to provide underserved SCD patients with better access to high-quality care and support.”

ACCEL builds on discussions from the SCD Access to Care Summit sponsored by GBT and held in September 2018, during which healthcare providers and members of the sickle cell community discussed programs that are successfully working to address the significant gaps in healthcare delivery for both adults and children living with SCD. During the Summit, participants created draft roadmaps of these models to help disseminate best practices and to encourage the initiation of new SCD access-to-care programs.

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of GBT personnel and external stakeholders with expertise in the issues affecting people with SCD. The panel will select as many as three proposals based on strength, degree of innovation and highest potential impact to patient care.

For more information about ACCEL, visit https://www.gbt.com/patients/accel-grant-program/ or email patientadvocacy@gbt.com.

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.

About Global Blood Therapeutics
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 two therapies for the potential treatment of sickle cell disease, including its late-stage product candidate, voxelotor, as an oral, once-daily therapy. To learn more, please visit www.gbt.com and follow the company on Twitter @GBT_news.

Contact Information:
Myesha Lacy (investors)
GBT
650-351-4730
investor@gbt.com

Stephanie Yao (media)
GBT
650-741-7730
media@gbt.com

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Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc.