Sebastian Stachowiak, Head of Europe & GCC at Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT), explains how, while the company establishes its presence in Europe, it continues its commitment to advance the care of people living with sickle cell disease by collaborating with the sickle cell community to develop breakthrough therapies, raise awareness and increase access to care.
Sickle cell disease – a rare, yet prevalent, genetic disease in Europe
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a devastating, lifelong blood disorder that occurs when someone inherits sickle cell genes from both parents.1 It affects haemoglobin, a protein carried by red blood cells that delivers oxygen throughout the body.2 SCD predominantly affects those whose ancestors are from sub-Saharan Africa but is also common in people of Hispanic, South Asian, Southern European and Middle Eastern ancestry.3 While SCD is considered a rare disease in Europe, it is one of the most prevalent genetic diseases, affecting approximately 52,000 people in the region4 and millions of people throughout the world.
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