Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation today announced plans to award $1.4 million in grants focused on hepatitis C prevention and education and the mitigation of the disease in four Asian countries. The grants are part of Delivering Hope, an umbrella program for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s efforts in the areas of hepatitis awareness, prevention and care. A total of five grants will be awarded, including four individual country grants of $250,000 to support two-year projects in China, India, Taiwan and Thailand, and one multi-country grant of $400,000 to support a collaborative, integrative two-year project involving two or more of these countries.
“The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has a long track record of harnessing expert resources and community support to bring measurable advances in the response to public health threats such as HIV in Africa,” said John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “The grant program in Asia builds on our expertise in addressing health disparities to help coordinate the response to hepatitis in countries where the need is greatest.”
The Foundation will award grants to universities, health centers or established nonprofit and non-governmental organizations for projects focused on: improvement of hepatitis C screening, blood transfusion practices and risk reduction services; implementation and maintenance of infection-control practices within the health care setting; hepatitis C education for lay or community-based health workers; or improvement of prevention methods and determination of risk factors for infection and disease transmission patterns.
In keeping with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s commitment to sharing lessons learned, grant recipients should have a detailed plan of evaluation and reportable outcomes and must prepare a comprehensive final report at the completion of their projects to enhance the body of knowledge on hepatitis prevention, care and support.
Institutions interested in applying for a grant may download applications on the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation website at http://www.bms.com/sr/foundation. Proposals must be submitted by January 3, 2009. Grants will be awarded in February 2009.
About Hepatitis C (1)
Hepatitis C is a virus that infects the liver and is transmitted through direct contact with blood. An estimated 170 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C and, of these, 94.5 million people live in the Asia Pacific region. One to five percent of people with chronic infection will develop liver cancer. Although there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, it is a curable disease.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and Delivering Hope
The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to help reduce health disparities by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease. The Foundation’s work related to hepatitis in Asia represents a significant part of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Delivering Hope: Awareness, Prevention and Care program. Beyond hepatitis, the Foundation also focuses on HIV/AIDS in Africa through its SECURE THE FUTURE(R) program, cancer in Central and Eastern Europe and serious mental illness and Alzheimer’s disease in the United States.
Since 2002, the Foundation has supported efforts in Asia, initially focusing on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B and promoting hepatitis B immunization in China. In 2006, the Foundation expanded those efforts to provide broader support for hepatitis B and C awareness, prevention and education as well as adoption and integration of hepatitis B and C interventions and health education in public health programs. Today, the Foundation’s priority hepatitis B and C programs encompass capacity building for health care professionals and lay health workers, disease education and awareness, and sharing of best practices in the prevention of management of hepatitis B and C to inform public health policy.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life. For more information visit www.bms.com.
1. World Health Organization Web site. Fact sheet N(degree)164. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs164/en/. Accessed September 23, 2008.