Sojitz Signs Memorandum of Understanding for Strategic Alliance with HIROTSU Bioscience, WHO Foundation, OurCrowd and Global Health Equity Fund

TOKYOTOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Sojitz Corporation ("Sojitz") has signed a memorandum of understanding with HIROTSU Bioscience Inc. ("HIROTSU"), a developer and provider of N-NOSE®, a primary cancer screening test offering early cancer detection, the WHO Foundation (“WHO Foundation”), OurCrowd, a venture capital firm and the Global Health Equity Fund ("GHEF"), a fund that invests in innovative new medical technologies to tackle health inequity to jointly conduct strategic alliances and feasibility studies for the deployment of N-NOSE® in low and middle-income countries and regions.
HIROTSU has developed and is offering N-NOSE®, a primary cancer screening test that utilizes the highly accurate detection of cancer-specific odors in human urine by nematodes with an excellent sense of smell. N-NOSE® is a simple, inexpensive, highly accurate, and comprehensive systemic cancer screening test that can be used to detect early-stage cancer simply by submitting urine. After the official development in January 2020, over 400,000 people have received a screening and also over 1,500 corporations are offering this screening (As of May 2023.) Sojitz and HIROTSU concluded a capital and business alliance agreement in February 2022 and have been promoting the international development of N-NOSE® under a mutual cooperation.
The WHO Foundation was created as an independent Swiss foundation affiliated with but independent of WHO to marshal new resources from philanthropists, foundations, businesses, and individuals to support its mission: promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.
OurCrowd is a venture capital firm founded in Israel in 2013 with over 290 billion yen (2.1 billion USD) in capital and has invested in about 400 companies and 43 funds. Under the collaboration with the WHO Foundation, OurCrowd will provide GHEFs portfolio companies with opportunities to work with government agencies, R&D, manufacturing, and supplier companies, and international organizations in low and middle-income countries to promote the growth of the GHEFs portfolio companies.
GHEF is a unique financial-first impact venture capital investment fund, focusing on breakthrough technology solutions that can impact healthcare globally. It will fuel innovation and increase investment in the health sector, with the shared goals of delivering competitive returns to investors and ensuring equitable access to medical care. Launched by OurCrowd and the WHO Foundation, GHEF aims for impact on health equity. The GHEF is led by OurCrowd General Partner and GHEF Managing Partner, Dr. Morris Laster, GHEF Partner Itsik Francis, with the support of WHO Foundation CEO, Anil Soni and Chief Impact Investment Office Geetha Tharmaratnam.
The WHO Foundation and OurCrowd share the aim of acting as standard bearers within the investment and global health communities, demonstrating the intended impact, with both goals benefiting from partnership across the private and public sectors.
In April 2017, Sojitz consolidated its internal efforts in the healthcare field and strengthened its structure for initiatives in this field by establishing a new specialized unit and is expanding its hospital PPP(*) and clinic chain businesses, etc., mainly in Turkey and the Asia and Pacific regions.
Sojitz, through its strategic alliance with HIROTSU, the WHO Foundation, OurCrowd, and the GHEF will contribute to the realization of a healthy and prosperous society by leveraging the technologies, networks, and assets possessed by each company to quickly realize the international deployment of N-NOSE®.
(※)PPP : Public Private Partnership
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About "N-NOSE®"
A primary screening test for cancer that utilizes the highly accurate detection of cancer-specific odors in human urine by the nematode C. elegans, which has an excellent sense of smell. By simply submitting urine, the test is simple, inexpensive, highly accurate, and comprehensive throughout the body, and can detect early-stage cancers. The test has been tested for 15 types of cancer: stomach cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, uterus, pancreas cancer, liver cancer, prostate cancer, esophagus cancer, ovary cancer, bile duct cancer, gall bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and oral cavity/pharynx cancer.
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