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Prostate Cancer Foundation Announces Six 2017 Challenge Awards Funded in Partnership with the Movember Foundation
Awards Totaling $6 Million Will Fund Critical Research to Defeat Prostate Cancer

SANTA MONICA, CA, August 23, 2017 – The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) today announced six new Challenge Awards funded in partnership with the Movember Foundation. These multi-year awards support cross-disciplinary teams of investigators conducting pioneering research to advance treatments and cures for prostate cancer.

PCF received a donation of $5.4 million from the Movember Foundation, the leading global men’s health charity helping men live happier, healthier, and longer lives, to help fund the 2017 Challenge Awards. Of these funds, more than $4.7 million came from the 2016 Movember U.S. Campaign with $687,000 coming from the 2016 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. Since 2007, the Movember Foundation has contributed more than $50 million to PCF to further new discoveries in prostate cancer research.

“The generous donation from the Movember Foundation enables teams of research scientists to accelerate the delivery of life-extending and life-saving therapies for men living with prostate cancer,” said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, president and chief executive officer, PCF. “As we embark upon the 10th year of our remarkable relationship with the Movember Foundation, we are grateful to continue our partnership as we continue to help further advance therapies and defeat prostate cancer once and for all.”

As part of PCF’s commitment to accelerate research and innovation in prostate cancer, Challenge Award teams are required to include at least three investigators, one of whom must be a young investigator. Each proposal submitted to PCF was subjected to a rigorous peer review process that assessed the scientific merit of the project as well as its potential impact for patients.

Paul Villanti, Director of Programs, the Movember Foundation said: The Movember Foundation has been working in proud partnership with PCF for 10 years now, and these Challenge awards represent a key part of our global plan to reduce death and suffering from prostate cancer. Work of this quality is only made possible through the incredible efforts of our fundraising community, and we’re delighted that the Mo Bros and Mo Sistas have this year been joined by the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride in driving the progress so sorely needed for men in the US, and around the world”

Mark Hawwa, Founder – Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride: “Being a part of something big, and knowing that the funds raised via The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride contribute to life saving prostate cancer research drives our passion to support men’s health globally. The volunteer ride hosts, participants and donors that contribute their time and funds to improving the health and well-being of all men are real heroes behind this. With PCF having been a significant beneficiary of the funds raised by DGR in recent years, it’s great to see the relationship continuing to strengthen via charity partner the Movember Foundation.”

The following projects were selected to receive a 2017 Movember Foundation-PCF Challenge Award:

Identifying and Overcoming PARP Inhibitor Resistance in Patients with Metastatic Prostate Cancer ($1 Million), led by Felix Feng, MD, Alan Ashworth, PhD, Charles Ryan, MD (all of University of California, San Francisco), Alexander Wyatt, PhD (University of British Columbia), and includes individuals from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  The team will identify mechanisms by which prostate cancers gain resistance to PARP-inhibitors and investigate therapeutic approaches for treating these patients.

Therapeutic Targeting of AR Variant Prostate Cancer with a Novel Antibody Drug Conjugate ($1 Million), led by Joshua Lang, MD (University of Wisconsin), Howard Scher, MD (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), Scott Dehm, PhD (Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota), and Scott Tagawa, MD (Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian).  The team will conduct a clinical trial testing a therapy targeting TROP-2, a protein highly expressed on prostate cancer cells.

Spherical Nucleic Acids as Therapeutic Vaccines for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer ($1 Million), led by Chad Mirkin, PhD (Northwestern University).  The team will develop a novel nanoparticle-based therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine.

Impact of Local Therapy on Outcomes of Men with De Novo Metastatic Prostate Cancer within Molecularly Defined Subsets ($1 Million), led by Ana Aparicio, MD, Nicholas Navin, PhD,  Theocharis Panaretakis, PhD (all of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center), and Peter Kuhn, PhD (University of Southern California).  The team will develop biomarkers that can be used to identify patients diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer who will benefit from treatment of the primary prostate tumor.

Targeting Androgen Receptor and ACK1 Signaling with Novel Epigenetic Therapeutics in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer ($1 Million), led by Nupam Mahajan, PhD (H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center) and Felix Feng, MD (University of California, San Francisco).  The team will perform preclinical studies to develop and optimize novel inhibitors of ACK1, a molecular pathway that regulates the androgen receptor, as a strategy to overcome resistance to androgen-targeted therapies.

The following project was selected to receive a 2017 Movember Foundation-Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Challenge Award:

Broadening T-Cell Activation with PD-1 Blockade to Treat Advanced, Metastatic Prostate Cancer ($1 Million), led by Douglas McNeel, MD, PhD (University of Wisconsin).  The team will conduct a clinical trial testing the combination of two therapeutic prostate cancer vaccines plus the checkpoint immunotherapy anti-PD1.


About the Prostate Cancer Foundation

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research. Founded in 1993, PCF has raised more than $700 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at more than 200 cancer centers and universities. The PCF global research enterprise now extends to 19 countries and funds a robust research portfolio. PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. For more information, visit www.pcf.org.

Connect with PCF: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

About the Movember Foundation

The Movember Foundation is the leading men’s health charity, funding over 1,200 projects in 21 countries worldwide. To date, they have raised hundreds of millions for men’s health programs focused on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. For more information and to help change the face of men’s health, visit Movember.com.



Katelyn O’Reilly
W2O Group, on behalf of the Prostate Cancer Foundation
[email protected]


Shanetta McDonald
Movember Foundation
[email protected]