Health insights: What is GVHD and why is innovation so critical?

Brandpoint (BPT)

(BPT) – For many people with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, stem cell transplants provide hope and can impact the course of the disease, but they also come with risks. One of those risks is graft­versus­host disease (GVHD).

What is GVHD?

GVHD is a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur after an allogeneic stem cell transplant from a donor, in which the donated cells initiate an immune response and attack the recipient’s organs and tissues. There are two major forms of GVHD, acute and chronic, that can affect multiple organ systems including the skin, gastrointestinal (digestive) tract and liver.

Although the exact incidence of GVHD is unknown, it is estimated that up to 70% of stem cell transplant recipients will develop either acute or chronic GVHD, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Due to these concerning statistics, health care experts and the entire GVHD community are calling for additional research and support.

People with GVHD and their caregivers face a multitude of challenges, often including limited support, minimal information and few treatment options. It’s time to change the future for those living with GVHD.

New award inspires the GVHD community

The Incyte Ingenuity Award aims to encourage innovation in GVHD care and other serious diseases. As part of the award, one unique proposal that addresses a critical unmet need in the GVHD community will be awarded up to $100,000 for the proposed initiative to be developed and executed. Specific initiatives may include patient and/or professional educational programs, policy-focused activities as well as awareness and support campaigns.

“Incyte wanted to create a community driven program dedicated to improving the lives of patients with serious diseases, such as GVHD, which can be difficult to treat and have a devastating impact on the lives of patients,” says Barry Flannelly, Pharm.D., Executive Vice President and General Manager, U.S., Incyte. “Through this award, we hope to spark creativity and innovation, resulting in impactful and actionable initiatives for the GVHD community.”

Get involved to make a difference

Submissions are accepted from nonprofit 501(c)(3), patient, policy and caregiver organizations, as well as health care providers and mid­level or junior faculty who submit under their health care organizations. To apply, visit and submit an online application featuring a summary of the proposed initiative. The application window is now open and will close April 30, 2020.

All applications will be reviewed and evaluated by an independent judging panel that will select the top three entries, who will then be asked to submit a more detailed proposal of their initiative. The final award recipient will be announced in August of 2020. Apply now!

MAT-INC-00717 02/20