Novartis announces initiative to fund five new sickle cell disease proposals
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Novartis announces initiative to fund five new sickle cell disease proposals

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis has announced the launch of its 2018 STEP (Solutions To Empower Patients) program, and this year the company will be looking to ease the suffering of those with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). The company will solicit proposals under five headings, each of which approaches SCD from a different standpoint (such as empowering sufferers versus developing new technological tools for treatment). Novartis has committed to picking the best proposal under each of these headings and awarding them a grant of $50,000 each.

Novartis’ share price has risen by 6% over the past month

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Source: Yahoo Finance

Ameet Mallik, Executive vice president and head of U.S. Novartis oncology, said: “People living with sickle cell disease face unique challenges. By helping fund innovative programs developed by the organizations that best understand these challenges, we hope to make the biggest impact for those affected by this disease, where there continues to be a significant unmet need.”

Novartis described SCD as “a genetic blood disorder that causes ongoing damage to blood vessels and organs. It is a lifelong illness that can place emotional, physical and financial burdens on patients and their families as they navigate issues dealing with work, school, family and finances.” They go on to describe SCD as an illness that can cause recurrent bouts of chronic pain, often leading to hospitalisation and early death.

This is the second year that Novartis has run its STEP program. Last year, the company solicited proposals looking at metastatic breast cancer – a disease that it made significant headway in combating earlier this year. Investors and patients alike will be hoping that the company can make similar strides against SCD.

Dominion holds Novartis in its Global Trends Managed Fund.

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