Imara Announces Recipients of Real Impact Grants Program to Support People Affected by Rare Genetic Blood Disorders

Company expands program to award 25 grants totaling $125,000 to fund nonprofit, community-based organizations supporting individuals with sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia

Cambridge, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES

BOSTON, June 25, 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 grant recipients of its ‘Real Impact’ community support initiative. This program, which includes grant funding to support nonprofit, community-based organizations (CBOs) serving patients and families impacted by sickle cell disease (SCD) and beta-thalassemia, awarded 25 grants of approximately $5,000 each to CBOs in 13 states. The grant funding was increased by 25% from original plans due to the strong demand for COVID-19-related relief programs.

“We had originally allocated grants for 20 organizations, but as we saw the acute need for help and further reflected on health inequalities faced by our patient community, we felt it was important to reach deeper and go further,” said Rahul Ballal, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Imara. “The response to the program has been overwhelming, with 47 quality applications for funding from organizations across the United States. We hope these grants will provide a measure of relief to community-based organizations doing vital work for patients and their families.”

Grant applications were assessed based on metrics including clear identification of an unmet need, plan of execution, level of impact within the target community and proposed measures of success. Importantly, each grant committee consisted of external reviewers and decisions to fund applications were made independent of Imara senior leadership. Of the 25 awards, 19 of the selected programs focus on COVID-19 relief efforts; the remaining six support social health and organizational capacity enhancements.

Real Impact grant recipients include:

COVID-19 Relief Grants

  • Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation of Oregon
  • Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency
  • Maryland Sickle Cell Disease Association
  • New York State Sickle Cell Advocacy Network
  • Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc.
  • Carol's Promise Sickle Cell Foundation
  • Southeast Alabama Sickle Cell Association, Inc.
  • Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter
  • Kids Conquering Sickle Cell Disease Foundation
  • Sickle Cell Disease Association of Broward County, Inc.
  • Dreamsickle Kids Foundation, SCDAA Nevada Chapter
  • Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation
  • Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc.
  • Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease, Inc.
  • Sickle Cell Association of New Jersey
  • South Central PA Sickle Cell Council
  • Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Central Alabama Chapter
  • Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois

Social Health Impact Grants

  • Children's Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc.
  • Kid's Conquering Sickle Cell Disease Foundation
  • Association for the Prevention of Sickle Cell Anemia of Harford and Cecil Counties
  • Augusta University Sickle Cell Transition Program

Capacity Support Grants

  • Maryland Sickle Cell Disease Association
  • Sickle Cell Association of Houston

“At Imara, we are passionate about supporting those affected by sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia and their care networks,” said Jennifer Fields, Director of Advocacy. “This grant fund is the first initiative in our Real Impact advocacy program and we look forward to providing updates on the recipients and rolling out additional projects in the months and years ahead.”

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 being 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

Cautionary Note Regarding 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 Company’s future advocacy programs. 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 most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in other filings that the Company makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the future. 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:
Gina Nugent
Ten Bridge Communications

Investor Contact:
Michael Gray

Advocacy Contact:
Jennifer Fields, MPH
(252) 481-3030