BOSTON, May 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IMARA Inc. (Nasdaq: IMRA), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel therapeutics to treat patients suffering from rare inherited genetic disorders of hemoglobin, today announced the launch of its ‘Real Impact’ community support initiative. This program will include grant funding to support nonprofit, community-based organizations (CBOs) serving patients and families impacted by sickle cell disease (SCD) and beta-thalassemia. In 2020, Imara will fund between 15 and 20 grants totaling up to $100,000 across three key areas: social health impact programs, COVID-19 relief programs and organizational capacity enhancement programs.

“As we work to advance our lead candidate, IMR-687, for people living with sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia, we also recognize the responsibility and obligation we have to support and positively impact the lives of the patient communities around us. The establishment of our ‘Real Impact’ community grants aligns with our vision of making a meaningful difference for patients, their families and the local communities affected by these rare blood disorders,” said Rahul Ballal, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Imara. “In particular, we know that the current COVID-19 pandemic places an additional burden on those who are affected by rare or chronic diseases, and I am proud that the team worked quickly to design one of our grant categories to support the basic needs of patients and their families.”

The grants, which will be up to $5,000 each, will be awarded to recipients in the U.S. in the following project categories:

  • Social Health Impact: Funds will support organizations that are working to address social drivers that impact health, disease management, education and or other basic needs.
     
  • COVID – 19 Relief: Funding is intended to increase the capacity of community organizations to meet the basic needs of those who have been impacted by COVID-19, including enabling remote communications with stakeholders, providing mental health services, supporting families with children, etc.
     
  • Community Based Organizational (CBO) Capacity: Funds will support nonprofit organizations’ internal operations (e.g., personnel, program development and execution and other activities) to better fulfill their patient-focused missions.

“I have a unique connection to patients and understand the needs of community organizations both as a director of advocacy and as someone who lives with sickle cell disease,” said Jennifer Fields, MPH, Director, Advocacy and Engagement, Imara. “Our commitment to patients and their families is at the heart of everything we do at Imara. We look forward to supporting the many important and innovative ways CBOs serve patients and families and encourage all organizations who meet the grant criteria to apply.”

Applications will be accepted online from May 6 through 11:59 p.m. EST on June 3, 2020. Nonprofit organizations may apply for grants in up to two categories; each submission requires a separate application. A team of reviewers will evaluate the applications and determine the final grant recipients based on the clear identification of an unmet need, plan of execution, level of impact within the target community and measures of success. Recipients across the three grant programs will be announced and awarded in June 2020.

All applications must be submitted through the online process and include the required supporting materials. For additional information on the grants, eligibility criteria and instructions on how to apply, CBOs can refer to the application website: Imara's Real Impact Awards.

About Imara
Imara Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel therapeutics to treat patients suffering from rare inherited genetic disorders of hemoglobin. Imara is currently advancing IMR-687, a highly selective, potent small molecule inhibitor of PDE9 that is an oral, once-a-day, potentially disease-modifying treatment for sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. IMR-687 is designed to have a multimodal mechanism of action that acts on red blood cells, white blood cells, adhesion mediators and other cell types. For more information, please visit www.imaratx.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects, as well as any other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts, may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the expected trading commencement and closing dates. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s prospectus filed with the SEC on March 12, 2020. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Media Contact:
Krystle Gibbs
Ten Bridge Communications
508-479-6358
krystle@tenbridgecommunications.com

Investor Contact:
Michael Gray
617-835-4061
mgray@imaratx.com