January 14, 2020

Lyfebulb and Helsinn Announce 11 Finalists for the Third Annual Lyfebulb-Helsinn Cancer Innovation Summit & Award

Lyfebulb and Helsinn Announce 11 Finalists for the Third Annual Lyfebulb-Helsinn Cancer Innovation Summit & Award

The Award recognizes Patient Entrepreneurs demonstrating outstanding innovations which advance solutions in the prevention, management or care of cancer

Lyfebulb-Helsinn Award 2020

MONACO, PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO, AND NEW YORK, NY, USA, January 14, 2020: Lyfebulb, a patient empowerment platform that connects patients with industry to support user-driven innovation toward solutions in chronic disease, and Helsinn, a Swiss pharmaceutical group focused on building quality cancer care, announce the 11 Patient Entrepreneurs chosen as finalists for the Lyfebulb-Helsinn Cancer Innovation Summit & Award to be held on January 30, 2020. The following inspirational finalists represent companies that have been founded by cancer patients, cancer survivors or those with loved ones affected by cancer:

  • Alexander Börve, PhD of First Derm
  • Jakub Chudik of ConquerX
  • Russell LaMontagne of Boston Immune Technologies and Therapeutics
  • Robert Manning of CureMatch
  • Gilles Pagès, PhD of InfAngioPharma
  • Øystein Rekdal, PhD of Lytix Biopharma
  • Maya Said, ScD of Outcomes4Me
  • Niranjan Sardesai, PhD of Geneos Therapeutics
  • Cesare Spadoni, PhD of Oncoheroes Biosciences
  • Michael Stein, PhD of Valo Therapeutics
  • Valerie Vanhooren, PhD of ONA Therapeutics

The finalists will compete for a chance to win one of two $25,000 awards, which recognize outstanding Patient Entrepreneurs building groundbreaking companies to advance the prevention, diagnosis, management or care of cancer. The primary award is the Lyfebulb-Helsinn Cancer Innovation Award, and the additional award is 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 pitch session will be held at the Summit where a jury of experts will select the ultimate winners. The expert jury include new and returning judges:

  • Carolyn R. “Bo” Aldigé, Founder and CEO at Prevent Cancer Foundation®
  • Kimberly Irvine, Patient Ambassador
  • Hans Mies, PhD, Partner, Value Chain Management at KPMG
  • Professor Patrick Rampal, MD, President at Scientific Center of Monaco
  • Dennis Urbaniak, Executive Vice President Digital Health at Orexo

“At Lyfebulb, we believe patients can be innovators. Each of these chosen Patient Entrepreneurs inspires our community, as they have recognized the burdens of living with their chronic disease – or caring for a loved one with a chronic disease – and have turned those insights into business solutions to help members of the community live their daily lives more fully. We applaud each and every Patient Entrepreneur who applied to our Challenge, and we look forward to the interactive, collaborative sessions we will spend with our teams, jury and finalists to reduce the burden of living with cancer,” said Dr. Karin Hehenberger, CEO and Founder of Lyfebulb.

Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group Vice Chairman and CEO, said, “Patient-driven research and innovation has proven itself invaluable as it offers a unique understanding of what it means to live with a chronic illness. At Helsinn, we are delighted to continue to support this initiative, as improving the quality of life for those affected by cancer is a cause that remains a key focus for Helsinn. We look forward to meeting with each of the finalists during the summit and wish them all the best of luck.”

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, migraine and transplantation.

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

About Helsinn Investment Fund S.A., SICAR

The Helsinn Investment Fund is focused on 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 Helsinn International Services sarl

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:
Helsinn Group Media Contact
Paola Bonvicini
Group Head of Communication
Lugano, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0) 91 985 21 21
For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Vimeo.

Lyfebulb Media Contact:
Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD
CEO & Founder, Lyfebulb
Phone: + 1 917-575-0210