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Inaugural grant awarded to the HealthTree Foundation, a pioneering non-profit organisation whose proposal will address disparities in care in multiple myeloma.

GSK plc today announced the first recipient of the Target the Future Think Tank Challenge £70,000 (equivalent to approximately $100,000) grant to the HealthTree Foundation, a non-profit organisation helping patients learn more about their health and become their own best advocates. Their proposal, the “HealthTree Equity and Diversity for Multiple Myeloma Program,” will improve access, education and support for underserved communities and minority patients. 

Tania Small, Vice President, Global Head of Oncology Medical Affairs and Head of R&D Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at GSK, said: “The response to this challenge showcased an abundance of innovation, creativity and ingenuity, which we need to address patients’ unmet needs. We see great potential in the HealthTree Foundation’s proposal, which goes beyond the science to improve access, equitable care and quality of life for the multiple myeloma community.”

GSK’s grant will help support the HealthTree Foundation as it develops digital delivery tools to distribute information on treatments and trials, facilitate digital communities and expand outreach efforts to support, educate and provide more equitable care to multiple myeloma patients.

Jenny Ahlstrom, Founder and CEO of the HealthTree Foundation, said: “I am alive today because I had the right information and treatments, and we must extend that access to communities of colour. GSK saw problems and created a programme to target a better future. Because of GSK’s support, we can implement a strategy to help our community by providing necessary tools to broaden awareness. We’re ready to make a difference in this underserved population suffering from multiple myeloma.” 

Specifically, the Target the Future grant from GSK will aid in the expansion of two of the following initiatives at the HealthTree Foundation:

  • “Black Myeloma Health”: Outreach from the HealthTree Foundation will expand to spotlight Black patients with multiple myeloma and their experiences through video journaling and distribution of new educational brochures with information about relevant treatments and resources. It will also create distinct communities online for Black patients and caregivers to come together and support each other.
  • “HealthTree for Mieloma Multiple”: The organisation’s efforts to support multiple myeloma patients will increase through deployment of Spanish-speaking patient navigators who will help people get answers along their treatment journey in their native language. It will also create referral forms in Spanish at clinics and translate existing HealthTree Foundation materials so more patients can access and understand information relevant to their care.

About the Target the Future Think Tank Challenge

Target the Future is an international, multi-year initiative dedicated to advancing innovation and addressing key needs in the multiple myeloma community. The Think Tank Challenge issued a clarion call for innovative ideas to support patients. GSK assembled a multidisciplinary advisory group of people personally and professionally connected to the multiple myeloma community and evaluated the top 20 submissions from around the world.

Entries came in from patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, developers, researchers, advocates and non-profits. Following finalist presentations, the panel evaluated ideas on novelty, feasibility to execute and ability to address unmet needs. The panel unanimously voted in favour of the inaugural winner. GSK will share detailed updates as the HealthTree Foundation’s idea comes to life and report on results of this effort within the community.

The Think Tank Challenge will issue the next call for submissions in the second half of 2022. To learn more about GSK’s Target the Future programme and ways GSK is collaborating with the community to get ahead of this disease together, please visit https://targetthefuturemm.com.

GSK in Oncology 

GSK is focused on maximising patient survival through transformational medicines. GSK’s pipeline is focused on immuno-oncology, cell therapy, tumour cell targeting therapies and synthetic lethality. Our goal is to achieve a sustainable flow of new treatments based on a diversified portfolio of investigational medicines utilising modalities such as small molecules, antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates and cell therapy, either alone or in combination.           

About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company. For further information please visit www.gsk.com/about-us.

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2021, GSK’s Q1 Results for 2022 and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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