Press Release

GBT Awards $250,000 in ACCEL Grants to Advance Access to Care for People Living with Sickle Cell Disease

Jun 25, 2020 at 1:00 PM EDT

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: GBT) today announced that five U.S. nonprofit organizations serving the sickle cell disease (SCD) community have been awarded a total of $250,000 through the company’s 2020 Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients (ACCEL) Grant Program. For the second year, the ACCEL program has funded innovative programs that have the potential to deliver high-quality healthcare to people living with SCD.

“Individuals living with sickle cell disease face significant challenges every day, including accessing quality healthcare in their communities. These challenges are greater than ever given the impact of COVID-19 and the healthcare disparities the pandemic has brought harshly to light,” said Jung E. Choi, chief business and strategy officer, and head of patient advocacy and government affairs at GBT. “We selected this year’s grant recipients based on their potential to make an outsized difference on improving access to care for patients. With the additional funding from the ACCEL program, these organizations have the opportunity to speed the development and amplify the reach of their programs.” 

The 2020 ACCEL grant recipients are:

  • Atrium Health Foundation for “Expanding Access to Care for Pediatric Sickle Cell Patients by Educating and Empowering Their Primary Care Providers (PCPs)”
  • Augusta University Sickle Cell Transition Program for “Transition to Adult Sickle Cell Disease Care in Rural South Georgia”
  • East Carolina University Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program for “Improving Transition Education and Facilitating Access to Care for Underserved Youth with SCD”
  • OSF Saint Francis Medical Center for “Enhancing Rural Sickle Cell Outreach Clinics and Easing Transition to Adult Care”
  • University of Rochester for “Improving Transition from Pediatric Specialty Care to Adult Health Care for Individuals with Sickle Cell Disease”

“The passion and innovation in the ACCEL grant proposals that we received this year gives us hope that critical gaps in sickle cell care can be narrowed and, one day, closed,” said Payal Desai, M.D., a member of the review panel and director of sickle cell research at The Ohio State University. “We are thankful to have received so many compelling proposals and look forward to the continued innovation in years to come. Together, we can make a tremendous difference for the sickle cell community.”

GBT launched the ACCEL program in February 2019 to fund U.S.-based nonprofit organizations that serve patients with SCD and their families and seek to improve their access to high-quality healthcare. Proposals received this year were reviewed by a panel of external and GBT stakeholders familiar with the issues affecting people with SCD. The panel chose grant recipients based on the strength of their submission, level of innovation, and greatest potential impact to patient care.

For more information about GBT’s grants program and other corporate giving, visit

About Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects an estimated 100,000 people in the United States,1 an estimated 52,000 people in Europe,2 and millions of people throughout the world, particularly among those whose ancestors are from sub-Saharan Africa.1 It also affects people of Hispanic, South Asian, Southern European, and Middle Eastern ancestry.1 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.4-7

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 red blood cell sickling in 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 and follow the company on Twitter @GBT_news.

Forward-Looking Statements
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 priorities, dedication, focus, goals, and vision; the safety, efficacy, and mechanism of action of Oxbryta, and other product characteristics; the commercialization, delivery, availability, use, and commercial and medical potential of Oxbryta; ongoing and planned studies of Oxbryta and related protocols, activities, and expectations; the significance and potential impact of the ACCEL program and the grant recipients; transforming the treatment and care of SCD and making a difference for the SCD community; the potential of inclacumab; and advancing GBT’s pipeline, working on new targets, 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, risks and uncertainties relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extent and duration of the impact on GBT’s business, including commercialization activities, regulatory efforts, research and development, corporate development activities, and operating results, which will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be accurately predicted, such as the ultimate duration of the pandemic, travel restrictions, quarantines, social distancing, and business closure requirements in the U.S. and in other countries, and the effectiveness of actions taken globally to contain and treat the disease; the risks that GBT has only recently established its commercialization capabilities and may not be able to successfully commercialize Oxbryta; risks associated with GBT’s dependence on third parties for 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; data and results may not meet regulatory requirements or otherwise be sufficient for further development, regulatory review, or approval; compliance with the funding and other obligations under the Pharmakon loan; and the timing and progress of GBT’s and Syros’ research and development activities under their collaboration; along with those risks set forth in GBT’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and in GBT’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q 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.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). Accessed June 3, 2019.
  2. European Medicines Agency. Accessed June 12, 2020.
  3. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Sickle Cell Disease. Accessed August 5, 2019.
  4. Rees DC, et al. Lancet. 2010;376(9757):2018-2031.
  5. Kato GJ, et al. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2018;4:18010.
  6. Kato GJ, et al. J Clin Invest. 2017;127(3):750-760. 
  7. Caboot JB, et al. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2014;15(1):17-23.

Contact Information:
Steven Immergut (media)

Stephanie Yao (investors)

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Source: Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc.