SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cytokinetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CYTK) today announced the recipients of its Communications Fellowship Grant program, an annual grant program intended to support increased capacity in communications, awareness building and community engagement for nonprofit organizations.
Five grants in the amount of $20,000 each were awarded this year to patient advocacy organizations serving the heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) communities. The grants will support projects to increase awareness, elevate community outreach, create spaces to foster connections within patient communities, expand education, and provide resources for patients, caregivers, families and researchers.
“After a competitive review process encompassing many proposals submitted, we are pleased to provide support to these impressive organizations to advance their communications initiatives to better serve their patient communities,” said Diane Weiser, Cytokinetics’ Vice President of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations. “The selected recipients presented creative, innovative and thoughtful strategies to connect with patient and caregiver communities and amplify their messages. We look forward to seeing how these grants may support each organization’s goals and ultimately benefit patients living with heart failure, HCM, ALS and SMA.”
The recipients of the 2020 Cytokinetics Communications Fellowship Grants are:
The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter: The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter serves patients in rural locations, who often face challenges such as access to care and transportation to ALS clinics. The grant will support the launch of an educational program focused on caregivers, medical providers and patients, including quarterly caregiver luncheons. The grant will also support the hiring of part time staff to support social media, event promotion, media outreach, website content and other promotional materials.
Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation: Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation helps parents cope with the challenges of managing a child with a chronic heart condition and has recognized that capturing patient and family perspective is an important step in evaluating care and improving diagnosis and treatment. The organization intends to hire part time staff to support funding, development and management of a pilot storytelling project. The project will involve the development of an app that allows patients and families to record and share their experience with cardiomyopathy online.
Fighting for Kaiden: Fighting for Kaiden enhances the lives of people with SMA by raising awareness and providing support to affected families. The organization will use the grant to support the formation of SMAExchange.org, an online and app-based community for people living with SMA that will provide educational content, updates on clinical trials, and opportunities to connect with other patients. In addition, the platform will allow patients to input their own real-world data and medical information and provide it to healthcare professionals, and to the research community as de-identified natural history data.
The Heart Failure Patient Foundation: The Heart Failure Patient Foundation was created by the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) to improve the lives of patients with heart failure by providing patients, families, caregivers and nurses with information, education, networking opportunities and other resources. The grant will support the development of a strategic communications plan to launch the Foundation, including website optimization, digital advertising, content development and social media channel management.
Les Turner ALS Foundation: The Les Turner ALS Foundation provides comprehensive care and support to people living with ALS and their families in the Chicago area. The organization recognizes that families facing ALS are overwhelmed by symptom management, equipment and medications, which may lead to delays in decision making, thereby causing adverse impacts on health outcomes and increases in caregiver burden. With this grant the organization intends to create a Decision Tree that will simplify complex medical decisions, clarify patient and family preferences and values, and facilitate conversations between patients, families and multidisciplinary care teams. The organization plans to form and facilitate focus groups and conduct user testing of the Decision Tree prior to sharing it online as a validated tool for use by the broader ALS community.
About Cytokinetics’ Communications Fellowship Program
Cytokinetics’ Communications Fellowship Program is awarded annually to patient advocacy organizations serving patients with ALS, heart failure, HCM or SMA to provide funding in support of communications, awareness and outreach. The goal of the Fellowship is to assist patient advocacy organizations by increasing resources in order to better support patient communities and bring increased awareness to the disease in the communities they serve.
Cytokinetics is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing first-in-class muscle activators and next-in-class muscle inhibitors as potential treatments for debilitating diseases in which muscle performance is compromised and/or declining. As a leader in muscle biology and the mechanics of muscle performance, the company is developing small molecule drug candidates specifically engineered to impact muscle function and contractility. Cytokinetics is collaborating with Amgen Inc. (Amgen) to develop omecamtiv mecarbil, a novel cardiac muscle activator. Omecamtiv mecarbil is the subject of an international clinical trials program in patients with heart failure including GALACTIC-HF and METEORIC-HF. Amgen holds an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize omecamtiv mecarbil with a sublicense held by Servier for commercialization in Europe and certain other countries. Cytokinetics is collaborating with Astellas Pharma Inc. (Astellas) to develop reldesemtiv, a fast skeletal muscle troponin activator (FSTA). Astellas currently holds an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize reldesemtiv. Licenses held by Amgen and Astellas are subject to specified co-development and co-commercialization rights of Cytokinetics. Cytokinetics is also developing CK-274, a novel cardiac myosin inhibitor that company scientists discovered independent of its collaborations, for the potential treatment of (hypertrophic cardiomyopathies (HCM). Cytokinetics is conducting REDWOOD-HCM, a Phase 2 trial of CK-274 in patients with obstructive HCM. Cytokinetics continues its over 20-year history of pioneering innovation in muscle biology and related pharmacology focused to diseases of muscle dysfunction and conditions of muscle weakness.
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Vice President, Corporate Communications, Investor Relations