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FCB Health Network’s AREA 23 wins Cannes Lions Pharma Grand Prix with SICK BEATS Campaign

Press Release - New York, 21 June 2021

AREA 23, Woojer, and Claire’s Place Foundation Collaborated to Create the World’s First Music-Powered Airway Clearance Vest ‑Revolutionizing Therapy For Children With Cystic Fibrosis

New York, NY, June 21, 2021 – AREA 23, an FCB Health Network company, swept the Cannes Lions health awards circuit, winning the rarely-awarded Pharma Grand Prix alongside one Gold and one Bronze Lions for its ‘SICK BEATS’ innovation created for Woojer.

For 30,000 people in the U.S. living with cystic fibrosis (CF) —a chronic, life-long, and life-shortening disease, involving the buildup of heavy mucus within the lungs – a primary goal of treatment is to keep the airways clear to avoid serious infection. For kids with CF, airway clearance therapy is the worst part of their day. The current approach to airway clearance is bulky vests that pound the chest until the mucus is loosened and coughed out. 

Since 2018, Area 23 has been developing an idea to transform this experience and joined forces with Claire’s Place Foundation, a non-profit organization providing support to children and families affected by CF, numerous pulmonologists, and consumer tech company Woojer, to develop a new approach to treatment.

“This recognition from Cannes and the industry is validation that SICK BEATS is a magical idea that has the power to transform lives,” said Tim Hawkey, Chief Creative Officer at Area 23. “Winning the Gold and Bronze Lions would have been rocket fuel for this project, but winning the Pharma Grand Prix is surreal and will help get vests to the kids that need them that much faster.”

Working with Woojer – a pioneer in the field of haptic technology, Area 23 redesigned their consumer haptic vest to create SICK BEATS, the world’s first music-powered airway clearance vest for people with CF. The revolutionary vest uses the clinically proven modality of soundwave therapy to merge the music kids love with the daily treatment they need. 

"We always knew that haptic technology had a very wide range of untapped applications,” said Woojer CEO Kfir Bar-Levav. “But in our wildest dreams, we never imagined that our entertainment technology could one day transform such an unpleasant medical procedure into a source of so much fun.”

The SICK BEATS vest syncs with a smartphone to pull therapeutic 40Hz frequencies from music and send them to the chest. The SICK BEATS experience uses a curated Spotify library of 40Hz songs. Kids can find new 40Hz music and create custom therapeutic playlists for the vest, all in the Spotify App.

“Airway clearance was always the most dreaded time of day for my daughter Claire Wineland,” said Claire’s Place Foundation Executive Director Melissa Yeager. “It is such an honor to be part of this collaboration to finally advance airway clearance therapy with the SICK BEATS vest.

This project will impact the CF community in many positive ways, a very well deserved recognition.”

The vest is currently in clinical development to demonstrate effectiveness. The road ahead will involve a multicenter trial and application for FDA approval. After FDA approval, the vest is expected to be available at a significantly lower cost compared to current $10,000 vests, creating more accessibility for the CF community. 

Pediatric Pulmonologist, Dr. Kate Lewinter, MD who has been studying the effects of 40Hz frequency for years, and is a Co-Medical Director for the SICK BEATS program said: “Given how challenging adherence can be, particularly in the adolescent population, a fun airways clearance regimen can make a huge difference when it comes to clinical outcomes.”

Pulmonologists who are interested in participating in future clinical trials of the vest can contact the Woojer team on SickBeatsVest.com

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About Woojer

Woojer is a pioneer in the field of haptic technology with patented knowhow that enhances the rich emotion of sound and physical sensation. The Woojer product range delivers high fidelity immersiveness that catapults music, gaming, movies and VR to unexpected levels. www.woojer.com

About Claire’s Place Foundation 

Claire’s Place Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing support to children and families affected by cystic fibrosis (CF). Claire’s Place Foundation is named in honor of Claire Wineland who lived with CF her entire life and passed away at the age of 21. Claire was an activist, author, TEDx Speaker, social media star and received numerous awards. Claire’s foundation was a way for her to assure that others living with CF enjoyed the same hope, strength and joy that she enjoyed.  Recipient of Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Small Nonprofit of the Year,” the foundation provides grants to families affected by CF, offering both emotional and financial support. Today, Claire’s Place Foundation continues to carry on Claire’s legacy. For more information and to make a donation, please visit www.clairesplacefoundation.org. 

About FCB Health Network  

FCB Health Network is one of the world’s most awarded communications networks, focused on creating game-changing marketing solutions for consumers, patients and healthcare professionals. With specialized units covering a wide range of health and wellness practices, FCB Health Network employs more than 2,800 people across an extensive global network, delivering multichannel capabilities that include DTC and HCP communications, professional education, branding, scientific services, strategic planning and media services. Its integrated agency offering includes AREA 23, AREA 23 ON HUDSON, BX – Brand Experience Design Group, FCB Health &Robin Copenhagen, FCB Health Afirma Belgrade, FCB Health Amsterdam, FCB Health Brasil, FCB Health Canada, FCB Health Energy Milan, FCB Health Frankfurt, FCB Health Hampshire, FCB Health LL Conseil Paris, FCB Health London, FCB Health Madrid, FCB Health New York, FCB Health Reaktör Istanbul, FCB Health Zurich, FCBCURE, IPG Health Frankfurt, IPG Health Munich, Mosaic Group, Neon, ProHealth, Solve(d), Studio Rx, Trio and YuzuYello. The Network is home to 19 of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies and countless startups, biotechs and biopharmaceutical companies. Cannes Lions, the world’s preeminent annual creative awards festival, named the Network’s AREA 23 unit “Healthcare Agency of the Year” in 2017, and named FCB Health Network “Healthcare Network of the Year” in 2018. Medical Marketing &Media(MM&M)named an FCB Health Network company “Agency of the Year” in 2007, 2010, 2015 and 2017. Clio Health Awards named FCB Health Network “Network of the Year” in 2019. In 2020, the Network’s FCB Health New York and FCBCURE units were named to MM&M’s “Best Places to Work” list, marking the third consecutive year that FCB Health New York was honored with the title. In 2021, Med Ad News’Manny Awards named FCB Health Network “Network of the Year” for the second time in three years.In 10 of the past 12 years, an FCB Health Network company has received the “Most Creative Agency” honor at the Manny Awards, while “Agency of the Year” was awarded in 2006, 2009, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020.