Taking place during National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, the 8th Annual Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Therapeutics Conference will focus on the latest medical advances and developing treatment trends.
To be held Sept. 10 in Washington, D.C., the conference will be hosted by the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) and Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT). U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, is the keynote speaker.
The event, which will be live-streamed on Facebook, will bring together patient advocates, healthcare professionals, lawmakers, biopharmaceutical leaders and other stakeholders for presentations about topical subjects, including the disease’s effect on the brain and cognition. Discussions will center around how patients and caregivers view hot topics in SCD.
There also will be care and treatment updates from the Sickle Cell Community Consortium (SCCC), biopharmaceutical companies and the American Society of Hematology Research Collaborative’s SCD Clinical Trials Network.
“We are thrilled to help advance meaningful discussions aimed at understanding and addressing the needs of the SCD community,” Beverley Francis-Gibson, MA, SCDAA president and CEO, said in a press release. “It is necessary that we continue to learn and grow based on the latest advancements that will be discussed at the Conference, in addition to understanding future issues and trends for treating patients with SCD.”
In addition to Kelly and Francis-Gibson, conference speakers and panelists include:
Biree Andemariam, MD, University of Connecticut; Lakiea Bailey, PhD, founder, SCCC; Velvet Brown-Watts, founder-chairperson, Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease; Chuck Chesson, PhD, director, SCD Clinical Trials Network; Jew-EL Darbone, sickle cell patient advocate; Jeremie Estepp, MD, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital; Andre Harris, sickle cell patient advocate; Allison King, MD, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine; and Hertz Nazaire, sickle cell patient advocate.
Presentations will include an overview of anemia and organ damage, cerebrovascular brain injury, and the disease’s impact on neurocognition. CRISPR Therapeutics/Vertex Pharmaceuticals will offer therapy updates. Go here for the full agenda.
“Support and collaboration across the broader community is essential as we work together to try to fundamentally transform how SCD is treated,” said Ted W. Love, MD, president and CEO of GBT. “We are optimistic that this year’s conference will spur important discussions as we continue to pursue our shared mission of making a meaningful difference in the future of SCD care.”
National Sickle Cell Awareness Month aims to raise awareness of the ongoing need for SCD research and therapies.
SCD is an inherited disease that affects red blood cells with an abnormal version of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. The altered hemoglobin is known as hemoglobin S because it renders normally oval-shaped red blood cells sickle-shaped. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disorder affects roughly 100,000 U.S. residents.