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Cancer X launches new startup accelerator

TAMPA, Fla. – CancerX, co-hosted by Moffitt Cancer Center and the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) alongside the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health announced the launch of the CancerX Startup Accelerator today at the Future of Cancer Care Summit in Tampa. It is the first-ever national cancer innovation accelerator initiative with public support from the White House. 

The CancerX Accelerator program aims to promote and fortify digital innovations in oncology by providing promising startups an opportunity to collaborate with leading cancer organizations. Startup participants benefit from valuable mentorship, comprehensive training and direct access to key players in the health care industry, including providers, payers and pharmaceutical companies. This collaborative environment enables startups to develop, test and implement their cancer focused innovation on a larger scale.

“We are excited to officially launch the CancerX Accelerator program as we have identified several themes as part of CancerX that will enable and advance the goals of the Cancer Moonshot,” said Edmondo Robinson, M.D., MBA, F.A.C.P., Moffitt’s chief digital officer. “The accelerator is focusing on a subset of these themes based on CancerX members' input, as well as unmet needs being faced by cancer patients today. We anticipate focusing on different themes for every cohort, covering all the main objectives of the Cancer Moonshot over time.”

The CancerX Startup Accelerator will select its inaugural cohort of approximately 15 to 20 companies to start in March 2024. The program will last four months. 

Applications may be submitted through December. The selection process occur in three stages, in partnership with MassChallenge HealthTech Accelerator;

  • In the first stage, companies will be evaluated for “fit” with a focus on the five themes for the inaugural accelerator: clinical research, screening and diagnosis, treatment and management, clinical operations and patient/caregiver/survivor experience.
  • During the second stage, CancerX members and champions will judge the applicants on several parameters, including business viability, desirability and feasibility. 
  • Finalists will be presented to the Accelerator Selection Committee and Accelerator Champions. Selection committee members will be able to sponsor one or more companies. All finalist companies who receive sponsorship from at least one of the champions or selection committee members will be accepted into the final cohort.  

“As the designated federal leads for CancerX, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health are excited to leverage their collective experience and lessons learned designing and executing other public private partnership accelerators under the InnovationX model to help shape the design and structure for this first of its kind program,” said Stephen Konya, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT Senior Advisor and Innovation Portfolio Lead. “We see this effort as an opportunity for the entire federal government to engage in a strategic, meaningful way with a diverse, highly collaborative, motivated and welcoming cancer innovation ecosystem to tackle our shared goal of accelerating the efficient development and adoption of promising digital health tools in the field of oncology.”

In addition to the co-hosts, several champion members will offer benefits directly to selected startups, ranging from investments, pilot opportunities, professional services, as well as access to end users and mentors.

“We are excited to champion this important initiative as a strategic venture partner and to offer a warrant for an investment to up to five startups that align with our investment thesis of accelerating the translation of cancer research into cancer care through disruptive digital innovation. The strength of this program is in the breadth of the oncology ecosystem coming together to meaningfully accelerate these companies, and we are excited to help them soar with an investment in their success,” said Nicolas Stalder, Debiopharm Innovation Fund. The cumulative amount of these warrants will be up to $1 million.

Additional champions include MassChallenge, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Reveal HealthTech, Oncology Ventures, AstraZeneca and UC Davis Health.

There will be an informational webinar on Nov. 16 to learn more about the CancerX Accelerator and its application process.

About CancerX
Part of the U.S. Cancer Moonshot initiative, CancerX is a public-private partnership announced by The White House as a national accelerator to boost innovation in the fight against cancer. Co-hosted by the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) and Moffitt Cancer Center, alongside the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), it convenes the many diverse stakeholders needed to unleash the power of innovation to create a future that's free of cancer burden. To learn more or participate in CancerX’s pre-competitive, evidence-generating efforts; Accelerator cohort; or demonstration projects, visit