Press Release

GBT Awards $450,000 in ACCEL Grants to Improve Access to Care in Sickle Cell Disease

Jun 15, 2021 at 8:00 AM EDT

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: GBT) has awarded approximately $450,000 to U.S. community-based organizations and institutions as part of the company’s 2021 Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients (ACCEL) Grant Program. The program, which is in its third year and increased the total funding and number of grantees from 2020, provides support to accelerate the development of sustainable access-to-care programs for people living with sickle cell disease (SCD).

“Access to high-quality healthcare has been a historic barrier for people with sickle cell disease, while community-based organizations and institutions play an indispensable role in driving innovative and lasting solutions,” said Jung E. Choi, chief business and strategy officer, and head of patient advocacy and government affairs at GBT. “We are confident that the programs proposed by this year’s grantees can profoundly impact the health and lives of those with sickle cell disease. These programs will facilitate integrated care delivery, coordinate access to community services, address racial equity and raise COVID-19 vaccine awareness – key areas where ongoing challenges have had an outsized impact on the sickle cell disease community.”

GBT has awarded 2021 ACCEL grants to the following recipients:

Community-based Organizations

  • Cayenne Wellness Center (Burbank, California) – Project PLACE: Locating Persons with SCD, Assessing & Coordinating Services & Education for a community outreach model to improve the transition from pediatric to adult care for SCD patients in rural areas of California
  • Sick Cells (Chicago, Illinois) – Project SCoviD for increasing COVID-19 vaccine awareness in the SCD community across the U.S.
  • Sickle Cell Community Consortium (Cumming, Georgia) – Project PEEP: Patients Empowered and Educated Providers for a curriculum to empower SCD patients in the U.S. to navigate the healthcare system and educate healthcare providers about the impact of race and healthcare disparities
  • Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease (Tulsa, Oklahoma) – Oklahoma System of SCD Care for serving as a hub connecting SCD patients and families with health and social service resources
  • The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee (Memphis, Tennessee) – Collaborative Conversations: Breaking Down Silos to Improve Care for People with SCD for building a collaborative community network to mitigate social determinants of health


  • Hamilton Community Health Network (Flint, Michigan) – Patient Navigator for Patients with SCD for a community outreach model providing patient navigators to offer disease education and improve communication with patients and families
  • Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center (Indianapolis, Indiana) – Sickle Cell Emergency Collaboration for an educational initiative focused on patient empowerment and dialogue to improve transitions from pediatric to adult care
  • Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts) – Integrating Palliative Care in the MGH Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center for an innovative care model to help SCD patients better manage pain with the integration of palliative care and community services
  • University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing (Memphis, Tennessee) – Sickle Cell Boot Camp to Promote Nursing Excellence for an innovative training program to increase nurses’ theoretical and clinical expertise in the care of SCD patients, developed in partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the International Association of Sickle Cell Nurses and Professional Associates

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the long-standing inequities faced by the sickle cell community. Programs such as ACCEL play an important role in bridging the divide and providing much-needed support to facilitate meaningful change,” said Titilope Fasipe, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the ACCEL review committee and a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at Texas Children's Hospital and assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine. “As both a physician who cares for people with sickle cell disease and someone who lives with the disease, I know firsthand the significant impact the organizations awarded a GBT ACCEL grant can make. I thank all the applicants for their innovative proposals to improve SCD care and look forward to following the progress of these inspiring grantees.”

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. Funding was increased to approximately $450,000 in 2021 with the goal of supporting additional initiatives, including those that address racial equity and COVID-19 vaccine awareness among the SCD community. A panel of GBT management and external stakeholders familiar with the issues impacting people with SCD reviewed the proposals received this year and 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 rare 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, individuals 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) tablets, 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, and GBT021601 (GBT601), the company’s next-generation hemoglobin S polymerization inhibitor. In addition, GBT’s drug discovery teams are working on new targets to develop the next wave 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, commitment, focus, goals, mission and vision; the ACCEL Grant Program, including the related activities, priority areas and expectations; safety, efficacy and mechanism of action of Oxbryta and other product characteristics; significance of reducing hemolysis and raising hemoglobin; commercialization, delivery, availability, use and commercial and medical potential of Oxbryta; ongoing and planned studies and related protocols, activities and expectations; altering the treatment, course and care of SCD and transforming the lives of people with SCD; potential and advancement of GBT’s pipeline, including inclacumab and other product candidates; and 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 is continuing to establish its commercialization capabilities and may not be able to successfully commercialize Oxbryta; risks associated with GBT’s dependence on third parties for development, manufacture, distribution 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 obligations under the Pharmakon loan; and the timing and progress of GBT’s collaborative, license and distribution agreements; along with those risks set forth in GBT’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, 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.

Steven Immergut (media)

Courtney Roberts (investors)


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Source: Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc.