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DEADLINE: JLabs Lung Cancer Innovation Quickfire Challenge

September 14, 2018

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About the Challenge

Lung cancer is a major cause of global morbidity and mortality with approximately 1.6 million deaths globally each year.  Unlike other diseases, lung cancer is caused by prolonged environmental exposure to carcinogens that overwhelm a human’s natural defenses and result in inflammation, genomic changes and ultimately tumor growth.  Although a global epidemic, it is unclear what makes one individual over another more susceptible to developing lung cancer.  Johnson & Johnson (China) Investment Ltd. and Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC are committed to flipping the script on lung cancer. How do we eliminate lung cancer by leveraging the totality of science and technology to prevent, intercept and cure lung cancer?

We must start by thinking about the health of the lungs before the initial diagnosis.  Humans can survive just a few minutes without oxygen. The average person breathes in 432 liters of oxygen every single day, a vital component in sustaining the trillions of cells in the body. To that end, it is essential that we protect our lungs.  Is there a way to cleanse the lungs after exposure to carcinogens much like a toothbrush cleanses the mouth after eating? Is there a way to shield the lungs from carcinogens much like sunscreen shields us from damaging UV exposure?  These are a few of the provocative ideas Johnson & Johnson Innovation hopes to trigger through the Shanghai Lung Cancer Innovation QuickFire Challenge.

China is disproportionately impacted by lung cancer, where it has been the leading cause of death  since 2010 according to Medical Daily.  Therefore, in honor of the new Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS @ Shanghai we seek to attract cutting edge, early-stage innovation from around the world focused on all stages of lung health resulting in the prevention, interception, and cure of lung cancer.

Up to three innovators with the best ideas, technologies, or solutions that improves human healthcare related to preventing, intercepting or curing lung cancer will be awarded a total of $750,000 in grants, a voucher for one year of residency at JLABS @ Shanghai, including a laboratory bench, workstation and access to the JLABS community, and mentorship from Johnson & Johnson Innovation and/or its affiliates.

Areas of Interest

We encourage applications from innovators working on all aspects of lung health related to cancer prevention, interception and cures.  Here’s what we mean:

  • Prevent: Approaches to identify risks and for warding off onset of lung cancer
  • Intercept: Arrest lung cancer as it develops, prior to clinical onset
  • Cure: Completely eliminate presence of lung cancer and reverse damage to restore full health

We are looking for proposals which address these specific aims: 

  • To develop approaches to reduce, prevent, or protect from exposure to respiratory carcinogen, including novel approaches to smoking cessation
  • To develop approaches to measure the exposure to and biological effect from respiratory carcinogens
  • To develop diagnostics/biomarkers to detect pre-cancers or early-stage malignant lesions
  • To develop approaches, including surgical, medical, behavioral, digital or others, to prevent or intercept lung carcinogenesis
  • To discover new tools for diagnosis and extirpation of curable lung cancers
  • To develop new treatments or treatment modalities for the cure of lung cancer

Approaches should include the following areas:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Consumer products
  • Medical devices
  • Global public health
  • Health technologies
  • Cross-sector initiatives – an integration of one or more the aforementioned areas of focus

We believe a good idea can come from anywhere, and it’s our goal to find new and innovative technologies that provide solutions to patients from across the world. Working together, we can spark the next great idea that will change the trajectory of health.

Application Process

Solutions will be evaluated by a panel of reviewers and judges on their ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Potential impact
  • Uniqueness of solution & level of competition in current market
  • Quality & feasibility of technology
  • Team credibility & capabilities
  • Plans for utilizing JLABS @ Shanghai
  • Idea submission outlines interest in the innovation ecosystem in Shanghai