Sojitz Invests in Japanese Radiation Sensitizer Developer
Dec. 13, 2019
Sojitz Corporation (“Sojitz”) has invested in KORTUC Inc. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), a startup pursuing the clinical and product development of KORTUC,*1 a novel radiation sensitizer, to improve the effectiveness of cancer radiation therapy. This investment is via Sojitz’s corporate venture capital fund established in the U.S. in January 2019.*2
*1：Kochi Oxydol-Radiation Therapy for Unresectable Carcinomas (KORTUC).
*2：“Sojitz Establishes Corporate Venture Capital Fund.” Sojitz Corp. Press Release, 29 Jan. 2019.
This fund is established under a partnership with Pegasus Tech Ventures located in California, USA (Representative Partner & CEO: Anis Uzzaman).
Roughly 60% of cancer patients around the world receive radiation therapy. As cancerous tumors grow in size, the efficacy of radiation therapy often is diminished by the low levels of oxygen and abundance of antioxidants inside large tumors. However, injecting the radiation sensitizer, KORTUC, into tumors prior to radiotherapy is expected to greatly increase the effectiveness of radiation treatment.
Over 1,000 patients in multiple hospitals in Japan have received KORTUC in combination with radiotherapy to effectively control the radiated tumors. Many of these patients have had breast cancer, but many other solid tumors have been successfully treated. Formal clinical trials of KORTUC to treat locally advanced breast cancer are being conducted at The Royal Marsden Hospital (RMH) in London. A Phase I trial concluded this year and confirmed the safety of KORTUC. Early in 2020, KORTUC Inc. will begin a Phase II trial in cooperation with RMH thanks to funding provided by Sojitz.
KORTUC Inc. aims to obtain global regulatory approval for its sensitizer treatments and spread the use of sensitizers to improve the efficacy of cancer radiation therapy. With this provision of support for KORTUC Inc.’s clinical and business expansion, Sojitz will contribute to the advancement of cancer therapies worldwide.
Sojitz strives to develop healthcare services that support the health, happiness, and prosperity of people around the world. Going forward, Sojitz will continue to pursue partnerships with start-ups offering promising technologies and services to foster the development of new businesses with a global impact.
Company Overview – KORTUC, Inc.
|Location||6-1, Otemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Otemachi Building, SPACES 1F
|Representative Director||Kazuyuki Matsuda|
|Main Business||Development, manufacture, sales and export of the radiation sensitizer, KORTUC|