General Electric Company : GE & Partners Announce Winners of the First Stage of $100 Million "healthymagination Cancer Challenge"
03/27/2012| 10:10am US/Eastern
Challenge focused on early-stage breast cancer breakthroughs that
warrant discovery, incubation and acceleration through seed funding
Winning innovations could expedite breast cancer detection,
diagnosis and improve the identification of effective therapies,
allowing more patients to survive
GE (NYSE: GE) announced today five innovation award winners as part of
the first stage of its $100 million "GE healthymagination Cancer
Challenge." More than 500 ideas from 40 countries were submitted,
sparking robust conversations among more than 200 academic institutions
and researchers on the Challenge's open innovation platform.
The five innovation award winners have the potential to help doctors
find cancer earlier, make more accurate diagnoses and choose the best
possible treatment based on each patient's unique cancer. The submitted
ideas include ones that could help doctors better understand the
molecular similarities between breast cancer and other solid tumors with
a particular focus on tumors associated with triple negative cancer, a
type of cancer that is less responsive to standard treatments and is
typically more aggressive. GE is committed to a new approach at
healthymagination that shines a spotlight on early-stage ideas to
accelerate the researchers' work and ultimately help patients sooner.
Beth Comstock, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, GE
said, "We launched the Challenge as a call to action for oncology
researchers, businesses, and other innovators around the world to
accelerate innovation and help stop this deadly disease. It is often
challenging for early stage research to grab the attention of seed
investors. The Challenge has shown us that there are a remarkable number
of breakthrough ideas out there that deserve promotion, investment and
In addition to the $100,000 seed award, GE will provide support for each
winner through mentorship and access to GE researchers and industry
thought leaders with opportunity for expanded partnerships in the future.
"GE and Clarient focus on helping health providers understand and define
the drivers of a patient's particular cancer. The Challenge winners'
work will change the future of fighting cancer," said Carrie
Eglinton-Manner, general manager of Clarient, the cancer diagnostics
company acquired by GE in 2010. "In addition to the grant money, we will
help mentor, develop and accelerate the growth of these winning ideas."
The winners were selected by a panel of judges that included venture
capital partners, GE executives, and several leading healthcare
luminaries including former U.S. FDA Commissioner and National Cancer
Institute Director, Dr. Andrew Von Eschenbach; Professor of Surgery and
Director of the University of Michigan Breast Care Center, Dr. Lisa
Newman; and cancer medicine specialist and Imperial College's professor
of cancer medicine, Dr. Justin Stebbing.
The five innovation Challenge award winners are:
MyCancerGenome- Personalized Approach to Triple Negative Breast
Cancer: Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee is
developing MyCancerGenome, a free online cancer medicine resource and
decision-making tool for physicians, patients, caregivers and
researchers. It provides up-to-date information on what mutations make
breast cancer grow and related treatment implications, including
available genome-directed clinical trials for triple negative breast
Creating Safer & Stronger Breast Implants with Cancer-fighting and
Healing Properties: The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio is
developing new materials for breast reconstruction to transform tissue
expanders and implants into cancer-fighting and healing devices. Using
coatings embedded with pharmaceutical agents the new device is
expected to help fight infection, reduce inflammation, and possibly
even target and destroy stray cancer cells.
Identifying a Predisposition to Cancer Spread: Moffitt Cancer
Center in Tampa, Florida is working to understand the genetic
"modifier" genes and their role in predisposition to the spread of
cancer to other parts of the body following cancer onset. This
research could form the basis of diagnostic testing for genes that
place a patient at disproportionate risk for cancer spread and guide
aggressiveness of treatment.
Saving Lives in Developing Countries: For developing countries
such as Uganda, breast ultrasound holds promise in identifying cancers
in young women with palpable lumps. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research
Center in Seattle, Washington and Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) in
Kampala are establishing a breast cancer screening program where women
will receive education about breast cancer and those with symptoms
will be offered clinical breast exam and breast ultrasound. Women with
suspicious lumps will be referred to the UCI for tissue sampling and,
if malignancy is diagnosed, treatment.
Moving to Personalized Therapy for Triple Negative Breast Cancer:
Researchers at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee
have demonstrated that gene expression analysis reveals at least six
distinct disease subtypes for triple negative breast cancer that
likely respond differently to chemotherapy. Using this discovery, the
Center is designing clinical trials with targeted therapy for select
subtypes which will soon be offered to patients.
Information on the winners is available at www.healthymagination.com.
Launched in September, the Challenge is part of GE's healthymagination
commitment to accelerate cancer innovation by investing $1 billion in
cancer technology research and development as well as improve care for
10 million cancer patients around the world by 2020. Additional
strategic commercial partnership announcements from the Challenge will
be made later in 2012. For additional details on the challenge, and to
view the full terms and conditions visit healthymagination.com/challenge.
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best
technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in
energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering,
moving and helping to cure the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE
works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.
About GE's healthymagination Initiative
Launched in May 2009, GE's healthymagination initiative is focused on
four critical needs: low-cost technology; healthcare IT; innovation
accessible to all; and consumer-driven healthcare. GE has committed that
by 2015 it will:
Invest $3 billion in research and development to launch at least 100
innovations that will help deliver better care to more people at lower
Provide $2 billion in financing and $1 billion in technology to bring
healthcare information technology to rural and underserved areas.
Reduce the cost of procedures that use GE technologies and services by
15 percent and develop products tailored to underserved regions of the
Reach 100 million more people every year with services and
technologies essential for health.
More information at www.healthymagination.com.
Megan Parker, 203-373-2020
© Business Wire 2012