Biopharmaceutical company Global Blood Therapeutics Inc. (GBT:NASDAQ), which is focused on the development of potentially life-changing medicines for sickle cell anemia and other diseases, yesterday announced "a new partnership with New York Jets running back Tevin Coleman and his wife, Akilah, whose 4-year-old daughter lives with sickle cell disease (SCD), with the goal of educating, inspiring, and raising awareness about SCD – especially among other parents and caregivers."
The firm noted that the campaign is kicking off ahead of World Sickle Cell Day which this year happens to fall on Father's Day, June 19, 2022. Global Blood Therapeutics advised that the Coleman family has offered to share their own personal story as part of the company's Sickle Cell Speaks education program. The company stated that the program was established to present the opportunity for afflicted individuals and family members to share their own authentic stories and experiences of living with sickle cell in order to increase awareness and dispel any misconceptions about the disease.
Tevin Coleman, who is an NFL running back with the New York Jets and sickle cell dad, remarked, "As a dad and husband, there's nothing more important than the health of my family. This World Sickle Cell Day and Father's Day, I am especially grateful for my daughter, Nazaneen, who lives and thrives with sickle cell disease."
Coleman added, "Too many children and adults with sickle cell go untreated, don't have regular checkups, and only get care when they suffer from symptoms. By sharing our family's story, we hope to inspire other families and warriors through their journeys to learn all they can and get the early and proactive care that's best for them."
The company stated that as part of its Sickle Cell Speaks campaign both Tevin and Akilah will be sharing what they refer to as their "playbook" for those families who are directly impacted by sickle cell disease. The couple is expected to actively participate in numerous appearances both in person and across social media with the goal of lending support and boosting engagement with the sickle cell community.
Global Blood Therapeutics' EVP and Head of R&D Kim Smith-Whitley, M.D., a pediatric hematologist with over 30 years of experience in caring for SCD patients, commented, "We are excited to partner with Tevin Coleman and his wonderful family to shine the light on their story as we join the sickle cell community in recognizing World Sickle Cell Day…The Colemans have taken important steps to build a foundation of healthy habits and support for their daughter that we hope will help other families create their own playbook for tackling sickle cell, along with the resources available on Sickle Cell Speaks."
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a lifelong inherited blood disorder that is caused by a genetic mutation in the beta-chain of hemoglobin, which leads to the formation of abnormal hemoglobin known as sickle hemoglobin (HbS). Starting in early childhood, SCD patients typically experience unpredictable and recurrent episodes or crises of severe pain that is attributed to blocked blood flow to organs. The suffering undergone by these children often leads to psychosocial and physical disabilities.
The firm pointed out that Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects over 150,000 people combined in the U.S. and Europe and millions of others worldwide. Though it is most prevalent among those with ancestral roots in sub-Saharan Africa, it also is common in those with Hispanic, Middle Eastern, South Asian and Southern European origins. The company advised that of the roughly 100,000 people in the U.S. who have SCD, about 16,000 are children between the ages of 4 and 11 years old. The company stated that "early intervention and treatment of SCD have shown potential to modify the course of this disease, reduce symptoms and events, prevent long-term organ damage and extend life expectancy."
Global Blood Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in South San Francisco, Calif. that is engaged in discovering, developing and providing life-changing medical treatments to patients in underserved communities. The firm is highly focused on the area of sickle cell disease (SCD). The company endeavors to transform the treatment of SCD, an area which the fundamental cause has been understood for decades, but that has lacked innovation in new therapeutics and access to care.
The company mentioned that it has developed the first FDA approved medicine called Oxbryta® (voxelotor) to address the underlying cause of SCD. GBT indicated that Oxbryta works by directly inhibiting sickle hemoglobin (HbS) polymerization, which it explained is the root cause of red blood cell sickling in individuals afflicted with SCD.
In addition, the firm's drug development pipeline includes several other compounds including a P-selectin inhibitor called inclacumab, which is presently being evaluated in a Phase 3 trial as a potential treatment to reduce the frequency of vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs) and reduce hospital re-admissions post-VOC. VOCs are the most commonly reported occurring complications associated with SCD that result in intense pain and potential irreversible organ damage.
Global Blood Therapeutics started the day with a market cap of around $1.5 billion with approximately 10.82 million shares outstanding. GBT shares opened slightly higher today at $24.16 (+$0.35, +1.47%) over yesterday's $23.81 closing price. The stock has traded today between $23.91 and $27.765 per share and is currently trading at $26.70 (+$2.89, +12.14%).
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