NORTHBROOK, Ill., Sept. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Astellas Pharma US, Inc. today announced the three C3 Prize Category Winners who will pitch their ideas for changing cancer care during a live pitch event at the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) World Cancer Congress on October 3 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The three Category Winners will present their innovations to a panel of judges that includes Bill Rancic, seasoned entrepreneur and star of the reality TV show, Giuliana and Bill.
"We're excited to join the Astellas Oncology C3 Prize, so that we can continue to share our story in an effort to help others who are going through a similar experience," said Bill Rancic, who rose to fame by winning the first season of The Apprentice. "We survived cancer together, and experienced firsthand many of the real-world challenges associated with cancer care. Also, as entrepreneurs, we see a tremendous need and opportunity for innovative and impactful solutions to address those challenges."
Bill and Giuliana Rancic are partnering with Astellas to support the C3 Prize and foster meaningful non-treatment solutions in cancer care. Both were deeply affected by cancer following Giuliana's breast cancer diagnosis in 2011 and are lending their personal and professional experience to help identify the most innovative idea to transform cancer care.
"Innovation and patient focus are at the core of everything we do at Astellas, and we're thrilled with this year's winning ideas that have the potential to transform the global patient community —from a novel way to diagnose cancer to a wearable device designed to gauge body temperature to a digital audio series about breast cancer," said Mark Reisenauer, senior vice president, oncology business unit, Astellas. "We congratulate and thank everyone who applied to transform cancer care for patients, caregivers, and loved ones."
This year's challenge will award three prizes totaling $100,000 USD (one Grand Prize of $50,000 USD and two $25,000 USD grants). In addition to the prize money, all three Category Winners will receive a one-year "nights and weekends" membership to MATTER, a Chicago-based healthcare innovation community, to help bring their ideas to life.
The Category Winners chosen to move on to compete for the Grand Prize are:
- Do Hyun Kim of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, Harvard University, in partnership with Emily Dahl, Calvin Marambo, Anna Raheem and Olga Romanova developed an outpatient wearable device designed to take the body temperature readings of pediatric cancer patients at specific time intervals and alert them via an alarm feedback system to help decrease rates of infection-caused mortality in low and middle-income countries.
- Ebele Mbanugo of Lagos, Nigeria, Run For a Cure Africa Breast Cancer Foundation, whose idea is to produce timely, culturally-relevant, entertaining and easy to understand information via a first-of-its-kind digital audio series with local actors that covers topics of significance that address common barriers and myths to breast cancer treatment, which are of value to patients in Nigeria.
- Richard Levenson of Sacramento, California, USA, UC Davis Medical Center, whose idea is to update the microscope, so that it can provide diagnostic-quality images with enhanced information directly and quickly from fresh or fixed tissue to relieve both the requirement to have access to the tissue structure as well as the time-consuming and costly processes involved in accessing it.
The Category Winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges with expertise in oncology, business and entrepreneurship. In addition to Bill Rancic, the C3 Prize judges include:
- Mark Reisenauer, senior vice president, oncology business unit, Astellas
- Peter Sandor, M.D., vice president, head of oncology therapeutic area, marketing strategy at Astellas
- Hernâni Oliveira, The Hope Project, 2017 C3 Prize Grand Prize Winner
- Saunthari Somasundaram, president of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, UICC board member
- Miriam Mutebi, consultant breast surgical oncologist, Aga Khan University Hospital, UICC young leader
"As an advocate for women with cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, there is a tremendous need for transformative ideas. It is truly inspiring to see the many ideas submitted to this year's challenge that help address cancer needs in low- and middle-income countries," said Miriam Mutebi, 2018 C3 Prize judge and consultant breast surgical oncologist at Aga Khan University Hospital in Kenya. "It is a privilege to be part of the C3 Prize to help recognize new potential solutions in cancer care."
Bill Rancic will participate in an Astellas Live Facebook event on October 3 at 6:30 p.m. CST/October 4 at 7:30 a.m. MYT, during which participants can meet each of the Category Winners and then the winners will be announced a few hours after the event. Follow Astellas on Facebook and learn more at www.C3Prize.com.
About C3 Prize
The Astellas Oncology C3 (Changing Cancer Care) Prize is a global challenge focused on inspiring non-treatment ideas that may improve cancer care for patients and their loved ones. In its third year, entrants were challenged to come up with solutions that transform cancer care in low- and middle- income countries, whose populations bear a disproportionate burden of the global cancer epidemic. New for this year, applicants selected a category under which to submit their application, as follows:
- Support Tools — Entries in this category seek to provide patients around the world with access to support resources, such as tools, methods or processes that help create support systems or provide encouragement for patients, caregivers and others impacted by cancer.
- Educational Tools — Entries in this category include tools, methods or processes that educate patients, caregivers and others impacted by cancer, through all aspects of the journey, whether that be at the time of a diagnosis, during treatment or post-treatment.
- Technology — Entries in this category include any technological device, digital health tool or app that can help patients and caregivers in low- and middle-income countries better manage cancer treatment and recovery.
Entries were evaluated based on the following criteria: extent to which idea reflects application category; plausibility of idea; creativity and originality of innovation; and ability of entrant to operationalize/implement the innovative idea for future application.
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at http://www.astellas.us. You can also follow us on Twitter at @AstellasUS, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AstellasUS or LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/astellas-pharma.
The Union for International Cancer Control's (UICC) rapidly increasing membership base of over 1000 organisations in more than 160 countries, represents the world's major cancer societies, ministries of health and patient groups and includes influential policy makers, researchers and experts in cancer prevention and control. UICC also boasts more than 50 strategic partners.
The organisation is dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building and advocacy initiatives that unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.
For more information, visit www.UICC.org.
About The World Cancer Congress
The World Cancer Congress (WCC) is a recognized international conference which encourages effective knowledge transfer and best practices exchange amongst 3,500 cancer control and public health experts from 150 countries. It aims to strengthen the participants' action and impact on national, regional and international scales through a multidisciplinary program that features the latest successful interventions in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.
The Congress was awarded 'Best Conference Development' at the 2016 International & European Associations Awards and 'Best use of social media' at the 2017 Association Excellence Awards.
The World Cancer Congress is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) - which was recognized with a Membership Engagement Award - and supports the organization's purpose statement 'to unite the cancer community, reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity and integrate cancer into the world's health and development agenda'. It takes place every two years in a different country and is hosted by a local member of UICC.
MATTER, Chicago's premier healthcare collaborative, includes 200 cutting-edge startups from around the world, working together with hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together, the MATTER community is accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit matter.health and follow @MATTERhealth.
SOURCE Astellas Pharma US, Inc.