Partnership Will Expand to Include Educational and Donation Event with OneBlood
LEXINGTON, Mass., January 17, 2023, – Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA) and Hemanext Inc., a leading innovator in blood processing, storage, and transfusion technology, today announced the expansion of their partnership to collaborate on community-focused educational programs and grassroots events.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects approximately 100,000 individuals in the United States, disproportionately affecting African Americans. SCD occurs in about one in 365 Black or African American births.1 The genetic disease is associated with serious, life-threatening complications, including stroke and acute chest syndrome (ACS).2,3 As a result, people with SCD often require chronic red blood cell transfusions,2 which for some patients is a life-saving therapy.3
Martin Cannon, CEO of Hemanext, said: “Hemanext remains committed to all patients requiring transfusions, including those with chronic conditions such as sickle cell disease. Our partnership with SCDAA provides us with greater opportunities to understand the needs of patients. In this next collaboration phase, we look forward to helping support regions with high SCD prevalence as they access multidisciplinary care and educational opportunities. In addition, Hemanext hopes to highlight the specific needs and complexities for this patient population, including efforts to increase diversity in the donor pool.”
Regina Hartfield, President and CEO, SCDAA, said: “Hemanext has been an important partner to SCDAA for almost three years now. Our joint efforts will help build awareness for the SCD community while shining a light on the importance of diverse blood donations. These patients need their community to support them, and our goal is to amplify that through events like this.”
To kick off this important initiative, a family and educational event in December in Miami, FL was organized, alongside the local chapter of the SCDAA and OneBlood. This event helped unite the different touch points in patients’ treatment journey, as well as provided tips for staying healthy during the holidays – specifically for this community and those receiving transfusions.
Dr. Ofelia Alvarez, M.D., Director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Program at the University of Miami and member of the local SCDAA Miami-Dade Chapter said: “Supporting the sickle cell community through educational programming is key, especially during the holiday season which can be a time of heightened stress. I look forward to this event every year and welcome as much support as possible for this patient population.”
Dr. Mildred Berry, President, SCDAA Miami, said: “We are grateful for Hemanext’s dedication, both locally and nationally, to SCD Warriors. This support comes at a critical time, as we do everything in our power to bring joy to these families during the holiday season.”
George “Bud” Scholl, CEO of OneBlood shared: “This event is a welcomed first step in our partnership with Hemanext. Together we can help create awareness about the need for a diverse blood supply and the importance it holds in helping sickle cell patients. We look forward to continued collaboration with Hemanext and holding blood drives together in 2023”.
Hemanext is a privately held medical technology company based in Lexington, MA that is dedicated to improving the quality, safety, efficacy, and cost of transfusion therapy. The company’s research and development efforts center on the study of hypoxically stored red blood cells (RBCs). The company’s aim is to significantly improve the quality of stored RBCs. No Hemanext product is currently cleared or approved by the FDA for commercial use in the United States.
Visit Hemanext.com to learn more about the Company.
1 Data & Statistics on Sickle Cell Disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated May 2, 2022. Accessed November 9, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/data.html.
2 American Society of Hematology. Understanding sickle cell disease. Available at https://www.hematology.org/education/clinicians/guidelines-and-quality-care/clinical-practice-guidelines/sickle-cell-disease-guidelines. Accessed March 23, 2021.
3 Chou ST, Fasano RM. Management of patients with sickle cell disease using transfusion therapy: guidelines and complications. Hematol Oncol Clin N Am. 2016;30(3):591-608. DOI: 10.1016/j.hoc.2016.01.011.
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