SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: GBT) today announced the appointment of Alexis A. Thompson, M.D., M.P.H., a world-renowned hematologist and sickle cell disease (SCD) expert, to the company’s board of directors. Dr. Thompson, who brings decades of experience in clinical research, patient care, leadership and advocacy in hematology, will serve on the board’s research and development committee.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Alexis to our board as we continue to pursue the transformation of care in sickle cell disease,” said Ted W. Love, M.D., president and chief executive officer of GBT. “Her deep expertise in blood disorders and her commitment to addressing health equity will be invaluable as GBT continues to expand its leadership both in the United States and globally. We look forward to her extensive knowledge and innovative thought leadership that will add to our board’s diverse backgrounds and breadth of experience.”
A board-certified pediatric hematologist, Dr. Thompson is head of the Hematology Section and director of the Comprehensive Thalassemia Program at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where she also serves as the A. Watson and Sarah Armour Endowed Chair for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders. In addition, Dr. Thompson is associate director for equity and minority health at the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She has served on national advisory committees for governmental agencies as well as non-profit organizations focused on improving healthcare access, increasing workforce diversity and reducing health disparities. In 2018, Dr. Thompson served as president of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and continues to serve on ASH’s Sickle Cell Disease Task Force.
“I’ve always wanted to make a difference, and GBT is a company that has been at the forefront of making very substantial progress on improving the lives of patients living with serious blood disorders, particularly sickle cell disease. The GBT mission to make this devastating disease a well-managed condition is one that I eagerly support,” said Dr. Thompson. “I look forward to serving on GBT’s board as the company advances innovative therapies for different facets of SCD and potentially other orphan blood diseases, improving overall care for underserved patients.”
Dr. Thompson is an investigator on multicenter clinical trials as well as her own institutional clinical studies in SCD and thalassemia. She has been a leader in multicenter collaborations, such as the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Sickle Cell Disease Implementation Consortium, and has received numerous awards recognizing her expertise in teaching and clinical care. Dr. Thompson received her medical degree from Tulane University, earned her master’s in public health degree from University of California, Los Angeles, and completed her postgraduate training at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
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 www.gbt.com and follow the company on Twitter @GBT_news.
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 significance of the appointment of Dr. Thompson, including her potential impact; expanding GBT’s leadership; the commercialization, characteristics and potential of Oxbryta; altering the treatment, course, and care of SCD and positively impacting patients; the 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 research and development activities under GBT’s collaborations; along with those risks set forth in GBT’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, 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.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/data.html. Accessed June 3, 2019.
- European Medicines Agency. https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/human/orphan-designations/eu3182125. Accessed June 12, 2020.
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Sickle Cell Disease. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sickle-cell-disease. Accessed August 5, 2019.
- Rees DC, et al. Lancet. 2010;376(9757):2018-2031.
- Kato GJ, et al. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2018;4:18010.
- Kato GJ, et al. J Clin Invest. 2017;127(3):750-760.
- Caboot JB, et al. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2014;15(1):17-23.
Steven Immergut (media)
Courtney Roberts (investors)