Eva Longoria, inspired by sister's disease, joins Novartis' selfie-driven breast cancer push

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Novartis is encouraging social media users to tag selfies with the hashtag #KissThis4MBC.

Novartis wants to see some selfies. The company has recruited celebrity firepower to spread the word about metastatic breast cancer on social media, and the campaign started with Eva Longoria photo-bombing some pictures at a live event in New York City.

The Swiss drugmaker teamed up with actress, producer and activist Eva Longoria, whose sister's breast cancer is in remission, on the new initiative Kiss This 4 MBC, which “encourages the public to take action” by posting a Boomerang or selfie on social media that “tells metastatic breast cancer to Kiss This!’”

For every social media post using the hashtag #KissThis4MBC, Novartis will donate $10 to two patient advocacy organizations—the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network and METAvivor—targeting at least $200,000 in donations to directly fund research. The drugmaker is also encouraging individuals to make their own donations to the organizations through their websites.

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The effort kicked off with the New York event, where Longoria, of “Desperate Housewives” fame, popped up in some attendees' self-portraits. Longoria also shared stories from metastatic breast cancer patients whom she had met before the event.

“I want to help ignite our collective voices to drive change and raise money for this community that so urgently needs to be supported, recognized and heard," she said in a statement.

Novartis boasts multiple breast-cancer fighters within its oncology portfolio, including Tyverb, which is indicated for metastatic disease, and Afinitor. Its newest metastatic treatment, though, is Kisqali, the CDK 4/6 med that in March won the right to take on Pfizer blockbuster Ibrance.

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Kisqali isn’t the only med competing for a slice of Ibrance’s sales, though. Last week, Eli Lilly snagged an FDA approval for its third-to-market med, Verzenio.

Meanwhile, Novartis isn't the only company using selfies—and celebrities—to promote disease awareness and raise funds. Allergan, for one, has "Gilmore Girls" and "This is Us" star Milo Ventimiglia asking people to post eye selfies tagged with #EYEPIC. For each one, its See America preventable blindness initiative is donating $10 to the American Foundation for the Blind, the company said this summer.