Lyfebulb-Helsinn winner

Russell LaMontagne

Co-Founder, President & CEO of Boston Immune Technologies and Therapeutics

About Russell LaMontagne

Russell is the CEO of Boston Immune Technologies and Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing immune-based approaches for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Russell has 20 years of experience in the health care industry, primarily focusing on consulting roles at biotechnology companies and non-profits from the University of Pennsylvania and the New England Journal of Medicine to VIRxSYS and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Over the past ten years, Russell has organized partnerships with Massachusetts General Hospital to promote clinical trials and new indications for the BCG vaccine. Prior to co-founding Boston Immune Technologies and Therapeutics, Russell served as president of Corinth Group, a boutique healthcare consultancy. Russell received his BS in Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his MS from Yale University.

Squinto LaPera award

Cesare Spadoni, PhD, MBA

Founder & Chief Operating Officer at Oncoheroes Biosciences

About Cesare Spadoni, PhD, MBA

Dr. Cesare Spadoni is the founder and Chief Operating Officer of Oncoheroes Biosciences, a biotechnology company exclusively focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of new treatments for cancers in children and adolescents. Following the passing of his daughter Laura in 2006, Cesare founded the aPODD Foundation, a London-based charity focused on accelerating pediatric oncology drug development. As aPODD’s chairman and trustee he is actively involved on a voluntary basis in drug repurposing projects, advocacy efforts and research collaborations with other childhood cancer charitiesFrustrated by the lack of progress in new drug development for pediatric cancers, he then set out to take matters into his own hands by founding Oncoheroes. Cesare has over 20 years of experience in drug development in both scientific and commercial roles. Previously,he held senior business development positions at AMRI, Aptuit Laurus, ThalesNano and Auxiliis BV. Cesare started his career as research scientist in a pharmaceutical company (Eisai, London) and in academia (Institute of Enzymology, Budapest).
Cesare received his MSc in applied molecular biology and PhD in neuroscience from University College London, as well as his MBA from Central European University, Budapest.

The jury award

Michael Stein, PhD

CEO of Valo Therapeutics

About Michael Stein, PhD

Dr. Michael Stein is the CEO of Valo Therapeutics, a developer of novel cancer immunotherapies with a unique approach to delivering a highly immunogenic and rapidly adaptable tumor vaccination platform. Dr. Stein is a business leader and strategic adviser with C-suite experience in healthcare. Prior to joining Valo TX, Michael was the founding CEO of OxStem, an award-winning biotechnology spin-out from the University of Oxford, which broke the UK record for a seed round fund-raise. In addition, Michael has served as the founding CEO for Doctor Care Anywhere, acquired by Synergix. In 2001, he co-founded the Map of Medicine with University College London. As founding CEO, and later CMO, the Map was nationally licensed across NHS England and acquired by Hearst Business Media, after which Michael transitioned to executive vice-president of healthcare innovation. Michael graduated from the University of Cape Town as a medical doctor with Honours and biochemist with First Class Honours, and from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar with a doctorate in Physiological Sciences, Immunology. He subsequently was appointed as a Junior Research Fellow in Medicine at Trinity College, Oxford, subsequently lecturing part-time in Immunology and Pathology at Balliol College, Oxford. As medical scientist, Michael first described the alternative pathway of macrophage activation. In addition, he has co-authored the best-selling UK medical handbook.

Honorable mention

Jakub Chudik

Co-Founder of ConquerX

About Jakub Chudik

Jakub Chudik is the co-founder of ConquerX, a multi-cancer diagnostics platform using proprietary nanomaterials and machine learning to detect early-stage cancers with the aim to make cancer detection more accurate, affordable and available to all. Jakub is a Computer Science and Engineering student at MIT and does computational research in cancer immunotherapy. Through the National University of Singapore, he has developed a microfluidics device for accelerating cancer drug development. Jakub’s interest in solving cancer for all was sparked by his younger brother’s diagnosis with leukemia seven years ago. ConquerX has participated in MassChallenge Boston and MassChallenge HealthTech Boston prior to being incubated in the Venture Development Center at the University of Massachusetts.


Lyfebulb-Helsinn Award 2020

11 finalists will compete at the third annual Lyfebulb-Helsinn Innovation Summit. The Lyfebulb-Helsinn Innovation Award will be presented to an exceptional innovator with outstanding entrepreneurial potential to commercialize a creative idea to better manage cancer using drugs, medical devices or healthcare information technology.

JANUARY 29-30, 2020 | Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

Deadline for applications was November 19, 2019 at 11:59pm EST / November 19, 2019 at 5:59am CEST



11 selected Patient Entrepreneurs will receive an invitation (and expenses paid trip*) to Monaco in January 2020 to present to and interact with an esteemed jury at the Biennale Monégasque de Cancérologie for a chance to win one of two $25,000 monetary grants

  • The Innovation Summit provides a collaborative setting that brings together Patient Entrepreneurs to spotlight their efforts and exchange ideas on how to further advance patient innovation in the cancer community
  • Finalists will have an opportunity to engage with senior leadership at Lyfebulb and Helsinn, representatives from the patient community, key opinion leaders, and investors / VCs beyond Lyfebulb and Helsinn
  • Two $25,000 awards will be granted at the conclusion of the Summit: The Lyfebulb-Helsinn Innovation Award and the Squinto-LePera Award by Lyfebulb, generously donated by Dr. Stephen Squinto, Executive Partner at OrbiMed and Co-Founder of Alexion, and Denise LePera
  • The 11 finalists will benefit from increased visibility on an international scale for their companies’ innovative efforts
  • All competing companies will be considered for possible investment by Helsinn

         *Airfare, hotel and meals will be provided

Summit Agenda

Wednesday 29th January, 2020
10:00 AM
Registration at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel
12:00 PM
Lunch at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel (closed event)
1:45 PM
Introductory Meeting at the Grimaldi Forum (closed event)
2:15 PM
1.1 Meetings and Technical Rehearsal at the Grimaldi Forum (closed event)
7:30 PM
Dinner at Avenue 31 (closed event)
Thursday 30th January, 2020
8:15 AM
Welcoming Coffee at the Grimaldi Forum (public event)
8:30 AM
Opening Remark by Helsinn and Lyfebulb Hosts (public event)
8:45 AM
Finalist Pitches Commence & Guest presentation by Giulio Draetta Kimberly Irvine (public event)
4:30 PM
Jury Deliberation (closed event)
8:30 PM
Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony at Yacht Club de Monaco (closed event)


The Lyfebulb-Helsinn Innovation Summit application is open to innovators* currently working on a groundbreaking project, which can advance the prevention, management, or care of cancer, using drugs, medical devices or healthcare information technologies.

The expert judging panel will evaluate pitches based upon:

  • How does the invention/product have the potential to improve the lives of people with cancer?
  • Does it address an unmet market need?
  • Is the product or service unique in the market (not an altered marketed product)?
  • Does the company/product use innovative and effective technologies that are scalable?
  • Can the company/product meet the challenges encountered by healthcare companies (e.g. funding, regulations, requirements for clinical testing, etc.)?

* Finalists from the 2018 or 2019 Lyfebulb-Helsinn Innovation Summit and any parties in whom Helsinn and/or Lyfebulb have a financial interest may not apply.

The Judges

Driving Change

The Lyfebulb-Helsinn Innovation Summit stems from the idea of the Lyfebulb Entrepreneur Circle, established in 2015, and features individuals who have created a product and a company based on issues encountered due to their personal experiences with a chronic illness.

Lyfebulb and Helsinn believe that patient innovators have a unique ability to create a value-added disease intervention beyond therapy. The sponsors are laser-focused on improving the quality of life for those living with cancer.

About Lyfebulb

Lyfebulb is a chronic disease-focused, patient empowerment platform that connects patients and industry to support user-driven innovation. Grounded with its strong foundation in diabetes, the company has expanded disease states covered into cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, mental illness and migraine.

About Helsinn International Services sarl

Helsinn International logo
Helsinn International Services sarl is the Helsinn subsidiary which provides a range of advisory services and strategic activities to the Group and its specific companies. In particular, it acts as the advisory company to Helsinn Investment Fund.

For more information, visit

About Helsinn Investment Fund S.A., SICAR

The Helsinn Investment Fund is focused on early-stage investments in areas of high unmet patient need. Backed by the Helsinn Group, and guided by Helsinn’s core values of quality, integrity and respect, Helsinn Investment Fund aims to help companies with innovative technologies to transform new ideas into commercial solutions with the potential to impact health-related quality of life of patients.

Drawing on Helsinn’s over 40 years of investment into research and development and commercial expertise, the investment fund selects companies with technologies in a range of areas including cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, cancer supportive care, metabolic and gastrointestinal disorders, and dermatology conditions.

For more information, visit

About the Helsinn Group

Helsinn is a privately-owned pharmaceutical group with an extensive portfolio of marketed cancer care products and a robust drug development pipeline. Since 1976, Helsinn has been improving the everyday lives of patients, guided by core family values of respect, integrity and quality. The Group works across pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and nutritional supplements and has expertise in research, development, manufacture and the commercialization of therapeutic and supportive care products for cancer, pain and inflammation and gastroenterology. In 2016, Helsinn created the Helsinn Investment Fund to support early-stage investment opportunities in areas of unmet patient need. The company is headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland, with operating subsidiaries in Switzerland, Ireland, the U.S., Monaco and China, as well as a product presence in approximately 190 countries globally.

To learn more about Helsinn Group please visit