GBT Donating $250,000 to Nonprofits Aiding Sickle Cell Community

Patricia Inácio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) is giving $250,000 to support the U.S. sickle cell disease (SCD) community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its newly created GBT Community Fund will award a total of $150,000 in grants to non-profit organizations supporting the needs of  SCD patients and their families during the pandemic. Applications are being accepted through April 17.

The company also donated $100,000 to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), the largest patient organization in the U.S dedicated to SCD.

“In the face of COVID-19, many individuals and families living with sickle cell disease are facing serious and overwhelming challenges as a result of the pandemic, leaving them with a wide range of critical needs,” Ted W. Love, MD, president and CEO of GBT, said in a press release.

“Patients and caregivers battling this devastating disorder need help during this unprecedented time, and GBT is proud to support this community, with which we have long been a partner,” he added.

Beverley Francis-Gibson, president of the SCDAA, said: “Right now, we in the sickle cell disease community are facing an unparalleled challenge due to the ever-changing pandemic, and it’s vital that we work together to support those who are most impacted.

“With GBT’s support, we surpassed our initial goal of raising $100,000 in 10 days and now have critical resources to deploy to our non-profit member organizations that are on the front lines supporting the urgent health, economic and other basic needs of sickle cell disease patients,” she added.

As people with SCD are frequently immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system) and are prone to infections, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers them to be at a higher risk for serious COVID-19 complications.

To prevent placing patients and healthcare staff at risk, GBT recently suspended all field team in-person interactions like visits to physicians, clinics, hospitals, and payers.

Now, the company announced its support to U.S. groups providing critical care and services to the SCD community during the outbreak.

Any nonprofit organization working to fulfill the needs of patients and their families during the pandemic (including access to water, food, other daily supplies, protective gear, transportation, and mental health services) is welcome to apply for individual grants.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and accepted through Friday, April 17. However, the fund will close as soon as the $150,000 limit has been reached, which may occur before the deadline, the company said. Additional information and instructions can be found here.