CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AGIO), a leader in the field of cellular metabolism to treat cancer and genetically defined diseases, today announced it will sponsor Citizen Scientist: Unpacking the Science of Sickle Cell Disease, an initiative developed by the Sickle Cell Community Consortium (SCCC) to promote health literacy for sickle cell patients. Within the Citizen Scientist initiative, Agios will also serve as the founding sponsor of a new series of episodes on Cheat Codes: A Sickle Cell Podcast that will provide insight into important research emerging from major medical and scientific congresses, starting with an inaugural episode focused on the 2020 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, which was hosted virtually in December.
“While medical congresses are an important venue for physicians, clinicians and other researchers to gather and discuss the latest findings in treating sickle cell disease, that research is not always accessible to patients and their families,” said Lakiea Bailey, Ph.D., executive director of the SCCC. “The new podcast series focused on explaining emerging research is part of a larger initiative, Citizen Scientist: Unpacking the Science of Sickle Cell Disease, designed to put the patient and caregiver in the seat of the ‘expert.’ As a sickle cell disease patient myself, I recognize the importance of not only understanding the science, but also using our voices to help shape it.”
The SCCC is a U.S.-based non-profit formed in 2014 to “harness and amplify the power of the patient voice” and is comprised of sickle cell community-based organizations, patient and caregiver advocates, community partners and medical and research advisers. The organization recently launched its Citizen Scientist initiative to provide comprehensive curriculum-based education, combined with in-depth patient-physician communication and engagement. As part of the initiative, the SCCC is collaborating with Cheat Codes as a resource to improve access to medical and scientific research surrounding sickle cell disease.
Cheat Codes brings listeners a series of segments and interviews packed with critical education and research information that patients and families need to know, as well as updates and clarifications from the social media “buzz” around sickle cell. Hosted by Ahmar U. Zaidi, M.D., (“Dr. Z”) and Michael U. Callaghan, M.D., (“Dr. Mike”) from the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, the podcast will partner with the SCCC to provide updates following major hematology conferences, which in addition to ASH, will also include the European Hematology Association (EHA) Virtual Congress and Annual Scientific Conference on Sickle Cell and Thalassemia (ASCAT).
“In this era of innovation, as discussions are turning up around sickle cell disease, too often the discussions are happening in silos. Patients talk to patients, and doctors talk to doctors, but there’s a disconnect between patients and their providers,” said Dr. Zaidi. “We are incredibly grateful to join forces with the SCCC to bring world-renowned physicians together with patients and caregivers to have real conversations. Ultimately, we hope to give listeners bite-sized, curated diamonds to hold onto that will help them make informed decisions about their care.”
“Health literacy is core to our mission at Agios, where patients are at the center of everything we do,” said Jackie Fouse, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Agios. “We are proud to support the efforts of both SCCC’s Citizen Scientist initiative and Cheat Codes to provide the sickle cell community with access to critical information about better ways to manage their health and innovative new treatments in development.”
For more information about the SCCC, please visit sicklecellconsortium.org. To listen to the latest episode of Cheat Codes, visit bloodstreammedia.com or search for Cheat Codes: A Sickle Cell Podcast wherever you stream your podcasts. Dr. Zaidi and Dr. Callaghan can be found on Twitter at @drzsicklecell and @hemagineer, respectively.
About Agios Pharmaceuticals
Agios is focused on discovering and developing novel investigational medicines to treat malignant hematology, solid tumors and genetically defined diseases through scientific leadership in the field of cellular metabolism. In addition to an active research and discovery pipeline across these three therapeutic areas, Agios has two approved oncology precision medicines and multiple first-in-class investigational therapies in clinical and/or preclinical development. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.agios.com.
Holly Manning, 617-844-6630
Senior Director, Investor Relations