Astellas Oncology Selects Five C3 Prize™ Finalists to Pitch Ideas for Changing Cancer Care to Panel Including Robert Herjavec at Stanford Medicine X

Out of more than 100 applicants from all over the world, five health care advocates with bright ideas to change cancer care will compete for a chance to win one of three grants totaling $100,000

TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Astellas today announced the five C3 Prize finalists chosen to present their ideas live at the Stanford Medicine X conference on Sept. 17 to a panel of judges including Robert Herjavec, dynamic entrepreneur, passionate cancer caregiver and star of ABC's Emmy Award-winning television show, Shark Tank. The C3 Prize is a challenge designed to inspire non-medicine innovations to improve the cancer care experience for patients, caregivers and their loved ones.

"The power of technology is driving dramatic advances for cancer patients, but more remains to be done for people with cancer and their loved ones outside of clinical treatment," said Herjavec. "The Astellas C3 Prize harnesses this momentum by rallying health care advocates from around the world to bring non-treatment based innovation in cancer care to reality."

Herjavec's experience caring for his mother, who died of ovarian cancer in 2007, drove his choice to partner with Astellas Oncology as a judge for the C3 Prize. "I know, from personal experience, the daily challenges faced by those affected by cancer. I also know, from professional experience, the power and impact technology can make on improving lives. The five C3 Prize finalists represent this intersection of personal connection, creativity and tenacity."

The C3 Prize solicited submissions in four areas where patients living with cancer and the cancer community face obstacles: navigating the health care system, adhering to complex medical care requirements, coordinating care and surviving life post-treatment.

More than 100 patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and technology entrepreneurs from around the world submitted innovations to potentially change cancer care. The five finalists are:

  • Mark Harrison of North Melbourne, Australia, chief executive officer of Australian Prostate Cancer Research, whose interactive online system, PROSTMATE™, provides community clinical connections for patients with prostate cancer across rural, regional and remote areas;
  • Diane Jooris of Brussels, Belgium, co-founder of Oncomfort™, a company that develops virtual reality modules designed to help manage anxiety in pediatric cancer patients before, during and after treatment;
  • Kevin Linn of Vancouver, British Columbia, a policy analyst for a large non-profit association whose web-based application would leverage one's own social media networks to communicate and secure transportation needs to and from cancer treatment;
  • Eric Luellen of Boston, Massachusetts, co-founder and chief executive officer of Bioinformatix's Rx&You™, an artificial intelligence platform that connects decision makers with information in real time to potentially improve clinical outcomes;
  • Larry Pederson of Seattle, Washington, founder and director of The Litebook® Company, which has developed a proprietary light therapy device for use as a simple tool to reduce fatigue and potentially increase quality of life for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

"The complexity of navigating cancer care beyond treatment itself is staggering," said Mark Reisenauer, senior vice president, Oncology, Astellas, whose experience caring for his late father influenced the development and launch of the C3 Prize. "We are thrilled with the volume and sophistication of the submissions we received. Each of the five finalist innovations represents a tremendous opportunity to improve patient and caregiver lives. This is what drives the Astellas Oncology team every day."

Reisenauer will be a member of the judging panel, alongside Herjavec. Chris Coburn, vice president, innovation at Partners HealthCare and Michael Seres, ePatient-in-Residence, Stanford Medicine X, will also serve as judges.

Based on the judges' selections, Astellas Oncology will award three winners a total of $100,000 in grants to advance their idea, along with mentorship and access to MATTER, a community of entrepreneurs, innovators and industry leaders working together to improve health and health care.

A live stream of the finalist presentations on Sept. 17 can be viewed at from 12:40 p.m.2:10 p.m. PST.

For more information, visit

About Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.
Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc., headquartered in Markham, ON, is a Canadian affiliate of Tokyo based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. In Canada, Astellas has an intense commercial focus on the following therapeutic areas – Urology, Immunology, Infectious Disease and Oncology. For more information about Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc., please visit the corporate website:

About Stanford Medicine X
Stanford Medicine X is a catalyst for new ideas about the future of medicine and health care. The initiative explores how emerging technologies will advance the practice of medicine, improve health and empower patients to be active participants in their own care. The "X" is meant to encourage thinking beyond numbers and trends — it represents the infinite possibilities for current and future information technologies to improve health. For more information about Medicine X, visit

SOURCE Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.

For further information: Astellas Contact: For Media: Michelle Reale, 905-946-5621,

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