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Global Blood Therapeutics Announces GBT440 Receives FDA Fast Track Designation for Sickle Cell Disease

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) (NASDAQ:GBT), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of grievous blood-based disorders with significant unmet needs, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to GBT440 for the treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD).

“By granting Fast Track designation to GBT440, the FDA is acknowledging that SCD is a serious health problem that needs new treatment options. This gives us the opportunity to work closely with the FDA to accelerate development of GBT440 for this important unmet medical need,” said Ted W. Love, M.D., chief executive officer of GBT. “We believe the unique ability of GBT440 to target the underlying mechanism of red blood cell sickling underscores its potential to modify the disease, rather than only treat its symptoms.”

GBT440 is an oral, once daily therapy for the treatment of SCD that works by increasing hemoglobin’s affinity for oxygen. Since oxygenated sickle hemoglobin does not polymerize, GBT440 blocks polymerization and the resultant sickling of red blood cells (RBCs). With the potential to restore normal hemoglobin function, GBT440 may be capable of modifying the progression of SCD. Currently, GBT440 is being investigated in an ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trial in both healthy subjects and SCD patients.

The FDA’s Fast Track process is designed to expedite the clinical development and submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) for medicines with the potential to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and address an unmet medical need (i.e., a condition whose treatment or diagnosis is not addressed adequately by available therapy). A drug program with Fast Track designation enables the company to have early and frequent communication with the FDA in the development and review of the product candidate, often leading to faster drug approval and access by patients.

About Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder caused by a genetic mutation in the beta-chain of hemoglobin, leading to formation of abnormal hemoglobin known as sickle hemoglobin, or HbS. In its deoxygenated state, HbS has a propensity to polymerize, or bind together forming long, rigid rods within a red blood cell (RBC). The polymer rods deform RBCs to assume a sickled shape and to become inflexible, which can cause blockage in small blood vessels. Beginning in childhood, SCD patients suffer unpredictable and recurrent episodes or crises of severe pain due to blocked blood flow to organs, which often lead to psychosocial and physical disabilities. This blocked blood flow, combined with hemolytic anemia (the destruction of RBCs), can eventually lead to multi-organ damage and early death.

About Global Blood Therapeutics

Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics to treat grievous blood-based disorders with significant unmet need. GBT is developing its initial product candidate, GBT440, as an oral, once-daily therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD) and is currently evaluating GBT440 in both healthy subjects and SCD patients in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase 1/2 clinical trial. In addition to GBT440 for the treatment of SCD, GBT is engaged in research and development activities targeted toward hypoxemic pulmonary disorders, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and hereditary angioedema (HAE). To learn more, please visit: www.globalbloodtx.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements we make in this press release may include statements which are not historical facts and are considered forward-looking within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act. We intend these forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the therapeutic potential of GBT440 and any other product candidates that we may identify and develop, 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 are making this statement for purposes of complying with those safe harbor provisions. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views about our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects, which are based on the information currently available to us and on assumptions we have made. We 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 our control including, without limitation, those set forth in the prospectus for our initial public offering of common stock that was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on August 12, 2015, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties and other important factors in our subsequent filings with the SEC. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information: Joey Fleury (investors) Brewlife 415-946-1090 investor@globalbloodtx.com Ryan Flinn (media) Brewlife 415-946-1059 media@globalbloodtx.com

Source:Global Blood Therapeutics