Grand Prize Winner of Astellas Oncology C3 Prize Announced

Oct 09, 2018
By Pharmaceutical Executive Editors
Astellas Pharma US (Northbrook, IL) last week chose Ebele Mbanugo of Lagos, Nigeria, Run For a Cure Africa Breast Cancer Foundation, as the Grand Prize Winner of the third annual C3 Prize, a global challenge that supports non-treatment innovations aimed at improving the cancer care experience for patients, caregivers and their loved ones.
 
Mbanugo will receive a $50,000 grant and mentoring to help bring to life her winning idea to transform cancer care. The other two Category Winners receive $25,000 grants.
 
Mbanugo's winning idea is to produce a culturally relevant and easy-to-understand digital audio series—the first of its kind—that addresses common myths and barriers to breast cancer treatment in Nigeria. With the grant money from the C3 Prize, she will bring together local actors and writers in-studio to create a pilot project that tests her prize-winning theory that the Nigerian penchant for good stories will make this entertaining and educational series a success.
 
Mbanugo pitched her idea alongside two other Category Winners to a panel of judges, including Rancic, to whom the topic of cancer is personal—his wife and fellow reality-TV star Giuliana was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. Congress attendees watched him and others choose a winner during the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on October 3.
 
This year's challenge awarded three prizes totaling $100,000 (one Grand Prize grant of $50,000 and two $25,000 grants). The other two Category Winners, who competed in Kuala Lumpur are:
 
Support Tools: Do Hyun Kim, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, Harvard University. Kim and his classmates, including Emily Dahl and Olga Romanova, developed an outpatient wearable device designed to take body temperature readings of pediatric cancer patients at specific time intervals and alert them of the results via an alarm feedback system.
 
Technology Tools: Richard Levenson, of Sacramento, California, USA, UC Davis Medical Center. Levenson developed an instrument that can provide enhanced, diagnostic-quality images directly and quickly from fresh or fixed tissue—changing the way cancer can be diagnosed.
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 innovative ideas to life.
 
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