Three Ideas to Increase Clinical Trial Patient Enrollment Win Innovation Prize

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Three Ideas to Increase Clinical Trial Patient Enrollment Win Innovation Prize
ALCF and Free to Breathe Award $30,000 for Innovative Ideas

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (August 11, 2015) — The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and Free to Breathe are on a mission to double participation in cancer clinical trials. On average, less than 3% of all cancer patients participate in clinical trials, and a majority aren’t even aware that clinical trials are a potential treatment option. In honor of World Lung Cancer Day on February 4th this year, the two organizations jointly launched the Clinical Trial Innovation prize, a two-phase Challenge requesting innovators from all parts of the world to solve this long-standing problem in clinical research. The first, Ideation phase of the challenge concluded last month and the winners were announced today. Over 100 innovators and 14 teams participated in the Challenge from all over the world, with submissions coming in from Israel, Nigeria, Germany, India, United States and 13 other countries. The first and second prize winners were selected by two rigorous rounds of reviews by a panel of judges with varying backgrounds in the healthcare industry.

“The Innovation Prize competition is doing exactly what we wanted it to do and that’s generating new ideas that could potentially help people suffering from cancer,” said Bonnie J. Addario, Stage-3B lung cancer survivor and founder of the ALCF. “Increased participation in clinical trials provides the opportunity to accelerate the pace of research and drug development, which could allow patients to live longer and better lives.”

The winnning ideas that were selected by the judging panel are:


First Prize: Match Point: Matching Patients and Trials Via EHR” submitted by Helynx, a start-up out of Caltech, UCLA and Harvard, and Dr. Jae Kim, a cardiothoracic surgeon at City of Hope. The trio has teamed up to create a unique system for automatically matching patients to the clinical trials for which they qualify using machine learning techniques to read patients’ Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to determine eligibility. This program will be piloted at the 13 community centers affiliated to City of Hope in southern California. The winning entry received $20,000 USD.

Second Prize: Fast, Fun & Friendly: Build Trust Before Research” submitted by Drs. Matt Gerber and Deanna Teoh of the Gynecologic Oncology Department at the University of Minneapolis proposes to create an individualized Welcome App for each patient that presents at their clinic using video content that details the arc of care a patient will receive as well a clear and succinct message about clinical research and its benefits, dispelling myths that effective treatments will be withheld during the clinical trial. Gerber and Teoh’s idea won their team $5,000 USD.


People’s Choice Award: The organizers had a unique mechanism to select the People’s Choice Award. Top 12 finalists were chosen to participate in a Public Vote, and “Meet NORA (Network Oriented Research Assistant)” submitted by Noah Craft of Los Angeles garnered the most votes. Craft is the co-founder and CEO for Science 37, a company working to help patients take part in clinical research from the comfort of their own homes, using the concepts of telemedicine and a networked clinical trial platform, one in which investigators, coordinators and administrators are geographically dispersed and the trial is decentralized. This submission won $5,000 USD.

In addition to the top two prizes and the People’s Choice Award, the organizers will also be working with the other finalists to provide them guidance and resources to implement  their idea. “We received some very innovative ideas that have potential in tipping the needle in oncology clinical trial recruitment, and we will be working with these teams and innovators to develop their ideas further by seeding collaborations with industry, academia and other partners. The solution lies in a collective, collaborative approach”, says Dr. Guneet Walia, Director of Research and Medical Affairs at the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.
The second phase of the Clinical Trial Innovation Prize, theImplementation/Proof of Concept Challenge launches on August 17, 2015 and is open to any team or individual, even if a competitor or competitors didn’t participate in phase one. One project will win $45,000 USD upon proving that the idea resulted in an increase in participation in cancer clinical trials.

More information about the ALCF-FtB Clinical Trial Innovation Prize and deadlines can be found at

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $25 million for lung cancer research and related programs.

For those interested in learning more about ALCF, visit and follow its activities on Twitter and Facebook.

About Free to Breathe
Free to Breathe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a partnership of lung cancer survivors, advocates, researchers, healthcare professionals and industry leaders dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by 2022. For more information, visit

About HeroX
HeroX is a platform where anyone can spur innovation and solve problems by launching a challenge. A spinoff of XPRIZE, the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high profile, incentivized prize competitions, and a joint venture with City Light Capital, HeroX harnesses the power and momentum of competition-based innovation to solve both philanthropic and commercial challenges. We provide the tools to make it easy for anyone to frame a problem and to inspire teams to compete to solve it. Everyone wants a chance to be a hero and we’ll show you how. You are HeroX. What’s possible together. For more information, go to