The Astellas Oncology C3 Prize Returns for a Second Year; Aims to Inspire and Support Innovative Ideas for Cancer Care with $100,000 in Grants

The challenge is open to nearly anyone with a tangible, unique idea to improve cancer care. Robert Herjavec, technology entrepreneur, star of ABC's Emmy Award-winning hit television show Shark Tank, ex-dragon on CBC's Dragons' Den and former cancer caregiver, returns as a partner and advisor

MARKHAM, ON, June 20, 2017 /CNW/ - Astellas announced today the launch of the second year of the Astellas Oncology C3 Prize, a global challenge designed to change cancer care by inspiring non-medicine innovations that may improve the lives of patients with cancer, their caregivers and their loved ones. Entries will be accepted through August 21st and five finalists will be selected to pitch their ideas live at the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) World Cancer Leaders' Summit on November 13th in Mexico City.

One grand prize winner will be awarded $50,000 and a personal business consultation with Robert Herjavec, technology entrepreneur, star of ABC's hit television show Shark Tank, ex-dragon on CBC's Dragons' Den, and former cancer caregiver. The four runners-up will receive $12,500 and all five finalists will receive a one-year nights and weekends membership to MATTER, a healthcare innovation community to help bring their ideas to life.

"We are extremely proud to be part of this competition and believe there is more to be done outside of clinical treatment to improve cancer care for patients and caregivers," said Mary Strugar, director, Oncology Business Unit, Astellas Pharma Canada. "Last year, Canada had a big impact on the competiton claiming two of the five top spots in the finals. This year, we will continue to support our community of innovators and entrepreneurs who are bringing forward novel ideas to improve cancer care."

The Astellas Oncology C3 Prize seeks submissions at in areas where patients living with cancer and the cancer community face the toughest obstacles such as: navigating the health care system, adhering to complex medical care requirements, coordinating care and surviving life post-treatment. The C3 Prize is open to eligible entrants who want to make a difference in cancer care and entrants do not need to have an established business or finished product to apply.

"The challenges my mother faced as a patient with ovarian cancer, and those that I faced as a caregiver, opened my eyes to a world that not enough people talk about," said Robert Herjavec, technology entrepreneur, star of ABC's Shark Tank, and ex-dragon on CBC's Dragons' Den. "I'm proud to again support the C3 Prize in tapping into the experiences and knowledge of those like me who have been affected by cancer in creating new innovations to change cancer care."

Diane Jooris of Brussels won the 2016 C3 Prize. She is the founder of Oncomfort™, a company that develops virtual reality modules designed to help cancer patients manage anxiety before, during and after treatment. Jooris had been searching for ways to earn funding to help her company—and dream—grow.

"The C3 Prize provided the resources needed to complete the development of a new virtual reality module, as well as invaluable exposure for our idea," said Jooris. "Being part of the C3 Prize has been such a rewarding experience that we plan to name the new module "Stella" in honor of Astellas for making the new module possible. I encourage everyone with an idea to change cancer care to apply."

Canadian finalists from last year's competition include Larry Pederson who won first prize and took home $25,000. As founder and director of The Litebook® Company, Larry developed a light therapy device to reduce fatigue and potentially increase quality of life for cancer patients undergoing treatment. Kevin Linn of Vancouver also placed in the top five with his idea of a web-based application that would leverage a patient or caregiver's social media networks to secure transportation to and from cancer treatment.

Astellas Oncology C3 Prize submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on August 21st. The Live Pitch will be hosted by UICC at the World Cancer Leaders' Summit in Mexico City on November 13th.

The online application consists of answering three questions. While a short, informal video is strongly recommened, it is not a required component of the application. Entries will be evaluated based on plausibility of idea, creativity and originality of innovation, as well as the ability of the entrant to operationalize/implement the innovative idea for future application.  

For more information, including details on last year's winners, visit

See terms and conditions at for full challenge rules and eligibility. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. No entries after August, 21, 2017 at 11:59pm CST.

About Astellas Pharma
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceuticals. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at, follow us on Twitter at or like our Facebook page at

About Astellas Pharma Canada
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 in the following therapeutic areas – Urology, Immunology, Infectious Disease and Oncology.

For more information about Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc., please visit the corporate website:

About UICC
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) 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.

Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, UICC is the largest and oldest international cancer organisation. With over 1,000 members and 56 partners across 162 countries, UICC features the world's major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, patient groups, and industry leaders.

For more information, visit

MATTER is a community of entrepreneurs, innovators and industry leaders working together to harness technology to improve health and healthcare. MATTER connects and promotes collaboration between entrepreneurs, scientists, physicians, investors and industry leaders in order to bring next-generation products and services to market that improve quality of care and save lives. For more information, visit

SOURCE Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.

For further information: For Media: Michelle Reale, 905-946-5621,; James Thayer, 416-425-9143 x 208,

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