Sojitz Signs Memorandum of Understanding for Strategic Alliance with HIROTSU Bioscience, WHO Foundation, OurCrowd and Global Health Equity Fund
– Aiming for International Expansion of N-NOSE®, a Primary Cancer Screening Test for Low and Middle-Income countries –
Jun. 13, 2023
June 12, 2023 Sojitz Corporation ("Sojitz") signed a memorandum of understanding with HIROTSU Bioscience Inc.("HIROTSU"), a developer and provider of N-NOSE®, a primary cancer screening test is a revolutionary offering for 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 offering this screening (At the time 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.
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 biilion USD) in capital and has invested in about 400- companies and 43 funds. Under the collaboration with WHO Foundation, OurCrowd will provide GHEFs portfolio companies with opportunities to work with the 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 WHO Foundation, GHEF aims for impact on health equity. 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 Officer (”CIIO”）,Geetha Tharmaratnam.
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.