The Lung Cancer Innovation Challenge

Helping Fight Lung Cancer Together

Did you know that the survival rate of lung cancer is among the lowest of all types of cancer?1 Last year alone, Canada had approximately 30,000 new cases of lung cancer and lost more than 21,000 people to the disease.1 Of the new diagnoses, 35 per cent were in Ontario.2 Alarmingly, approximately half of all lung cancer cases are diagnosed at Stage 4, further worsening chances of survival.1

Despite the availability of today’s innovative medicines, improving outcomes for Canadian lung cancer patients requires further research, collaboration, and commitment.

“By joining hands with organizations, like MaRS, who have the same vision as we do at Merck, we have a much better chance at finding much-needed novel solutions resulting in fewer people who lose their loved ones to lung cancer.”

AnnA Van Acker,

President and Managing Director, Merck Canada

Here and Now

At Merck Canada, we are on a mission to save and improve lives. We have a crucial role to play in our healthcare system by driving change and collaborating with others. Together, we believe we can make a difference. That’s why we teamed up with MaRS for the Lung Cancer Innovation Challenge.

Our work aims to improve outcomes for people living with lung cancer by challenging Ontario-based innovators to identify, implement, and scale solutions that can reduce the time between diagnosis and treatment, especially for priority patient groups (e.g., rural and lower socioeconomic populations).

Calling all Ontario-based innovators, including healthcare workers, corporations, non-profit and private organizations, and even passionate members of the general public; please join us.

As a hub for best-in-class life sciences talent, Ontario accounts for more than half of Canada’s research and development spending in the life sciences sector. At this important moment in the history of lung cancer treatment, we believe this Challenge can help make a meaningful, transformative difference.

Are you up for the challenge?

"Innovative partnerships allow us to tap into some of Ontario's brightest minds in order to bring new, invaluable solutions to people facing cancer.”

AnnA Van Acker,

President and Managing Director, Merck Canada

To hear more from AnnA and learn more about the challenge, please watch this panel discussion.



1 Canadian Cancer Society. Canadian Cancer Statistics: A 2020 special report on lung cancer. Available from:

2 Cancer Care Ontario. Ontario Cancer Statistics 2020. Available from: