President of the Feinstein Institutes, Northwell Health
Global Blood Therapeutics
Growing up in segregated Alabama, Ted Love, MD, says he'd never heard of sickle-cell disease, a genetic condition affecting tens of thousands of Black people.
“The truth is nobody talked about it,” Love tells Business Insider. “Nobody talked about it in the Black community, and certainly nobody was talking about it outside the Black community.”
There was little reason then to talk about a disease that has been neglected for decades by doctors and underfunded by pharma companies. Love now leads Global Blood Therapeutics, a biotech changing how doctors treat sickle-cell patients.
After a long career in drug development, Love left retirement to join Global Blood, in 2014, driven to bring an experimental sickle-cell drug to market. As one of the few Black CEOs in biotech, he's also seen the industry suffer from decades of a lack of diversity among its leaders.
In 2019 the Food and Drug Administration approved Global Blood’s sickle-cell treatment, Oxbryta. Global Blood is now focused on developing additional treatments, as are other biotechs hunting for cures for sickle cell using experimental gene therapy or gene-editing treatments.
“We are going to be the leader because we are invested, and this is really all we focus on right now,” Love says.