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#pass4prostate Challenge Raises Prostate Cancer Awareness and Research Funds

Social media campaign to rally supporters around the world in tackling the second most common cancer among men

Aug 5, 2015

NORTHBROOK, Ill., August 5, 2015 — Seeking to support men and their loved ones facing the challenges that come with a diagnosis of prostate cancer, USA Rugby, the Australian Rugby Union and Astellas Pharma have partnered to launch the #pass4prostate challenge, a social media campaign designed to generate awareness of prostate cancer and support a donation of up to $125,000 from Astellas to four research and advocacy organizations: Prostate Cancer Foundation, Australia Prostate Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia and Prostate Cancer Canada.

From August 5 through the end of September – Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – social media users are encouraged to record a video of themselves catching an inanimate object, mentioning why prostate cancer awareness is important to them, and then passing that object, rugby-style, symbolically to a friend or family member. Astellas will donate $5 to prostate cancer advocacy organizations for every qualifying submission with the #pass4prostate hashtag posted to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, up to a maximum contribution of $125,000. Example videos from top professional rugby players, information on how to register to win rugby-themed prizes and further details can be found at www.pass4prostate.org.

The launch of #pass4prostate kicks off the month leading up to the USA Eagles versus Qantas Wallabies rugby match on September 5 at Soldier Field in Chicago, presented by Astellas. During the month of August, the #pass4prostate challenge will "bring" the game ball along a journey from Sydney to Soldier Field for the game.

"One in seven American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and that rate is significantly higher if you're African American or have a family history of the disease," said Jim Robinson, president of Astellas Pharma US. "We are proud to support #pass4prostate and the work of several charitable organizations as the global rugby and men's health communities come together to accept the challenge."

"We're thrilled to support the #pass4prostate challenge alongside the Australian Rugby Union and our match sponsor Astellas by encouraging rugby players and fans around the world to call attention to this critical men's health issue," said Nigel Melville, chief executive officer of USA Rugby. "Rugby, and sport in general, is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and we're up to the challenge of generating tremendous support for the players and fans that may benefit from increased research and advocacy."

For further information: Tyler Marciniak, 224-205-6340, tyler.marciniak@astellas.com