Hemanext Teams Up with SC101 to Promote Sickle Cell Awareness

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by Mary Chapman |

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Medical technology company Hemanext is partnering with the Silicon Valley-based nonprofit Sickle Cell 101 (SC101) to promote sickle cell disease education and awareness.

The new partners will sponsor local, national, and global efforts to bring attention to the unmet needs of the more than 20 million people around the world who live with the blood disorder.

“We’re very excited to be working with a world-class medical technology company like Hemanext that is dedicated to improving blood transfusions,” Cassandra Trimnell, founder and executive director of Sickle Cell 101, said in a press release.

“We are optimistic that Hermanext’s expertise in blood collection, processing, and storage will result in transfusion technologies that could potentially impact the lives of millions of patients, including people living with sickle cell disease,” she said.

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Sickle cell disease is caused by genetic mutations resulting in the production of an abnormal version of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. It is marked by unpredictable, acute, and prospectively life-threatening complications such as strokes, acute chest syndrome, vision loss, and deep vein thrombosis.

Some 100,000 U.S. residents live with the progressively debilitating inherited disease, the vast majority of them — 1 in every 365 — of African descent. Many of these patients and their families face multiple issues, including poverty, lack of education, housing, and food, and transportation difficulties that limit care access.

Many patients also face stigmas related to race and the use of opioid medications they rely on during pain crises, which occur when sickle-shaped red blood cells get stuck in small blood vessels, obstructing blood flow to different tissues.

“It is a privilege to partner with Sickle Cell 101 and in support of their global mission of promoting patient awareness and education for sickle cell disease,” said Alex Marichal, Hemanext’s vice president of marketing.

“SC101’s evidence-based, patient-friendly programs and communications enhance the lives of sickle cell patients, which is why Hemanext is committed to supporting this alliance,” Marichal added.

Hemanext seeks to improve the quality, safety, efficacy, and cost of red blood cell transfusions. Sickle Cell 101 is touted as the largest global online platform dedicated exclusively to sickle cell research and education, providing evidence-based, patient-focused content to the sickle cell community.