Sysmex develops technology platforms to analyze genes, cells and proteins. Through the multifaceted application of these platforms, we create new testing and diagnostic technologies that are useful to patients. At Technopark, our hub for R&D, a congregation of researchers and engineers in a host of fields—electrical, mechanical, biological, chemical and IT, among others—interact, collaborate, and engage in R&D on instruments, reagents and software in response to customer needs. We have built up a global R&D structure comprising R&D facilities in the United States, Germany and other countries.
In addition to expanding our own technology platforms, through open innovation we are pursuing collaboration with research institutes, universities and medical institutions in Japan and overseas. As part of this effort, we have set up an open innovation lab within Technopark, where we can conduct collaborative R&D with researchers from outside the Company, and we are promoting R&D toward the realization of personalized medicine.
As of 2015, there were some 17.5 million cancer patients around the world, with deaths from cancer numbering an estimated 8.7 million. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of cancer cases increased by 33%. Of this figure, 16.4% was attributable to societyʼs aging, 12.6% to population growth and 4.1% to increasing age-specific incidence rates. Although varying widely by country and region, around the world it is said that one in three men and one in four women will contract cancer at some point in their lives, making cancer one of the most prevalent diseases*.
Through genetic testing and other technologies, Sysmex's working to contribute to the early detection and treatment of cancer, helping to improve the quality of life of individual patients.
* Source: Global Burden of Cancer 2015
Sysmex Cancer Innovation Laboratory(SCI-Lab)
Sysmex Corporation has signed a comprehensive collaboration agreement with the National Cancer Center (2013), and we have engaged in joint development on more than 10 projects. In 2015, in the aim of accelerating R&D in the field of cancer diagnosis to encourage the proliferation of genomic medicine1 and clinical sequence testing2, we opened the Sysmex Cancer Innovation Laboratory (SCI-Lab) within the National Cancer Center Japan Hospital. This lab meets ISO151893 international standards for clinical laboratories.
We operate this lab in conjunction with RIKEN GENESIS, a Sysmex Corporation subsidiary with extensive experience in gene analysis. The lab employs next-generation sequencers to conduct clinical research involving comprehensive genetic testing to measure around 100 gene types related to various types of cancer. This research is expected to contribute to decisions on appropriate treatment methods and use of drugs.
We will continue to collaborate closely with the National Cancer Center Japan and RIKEN GENESIS, promoting research in the aim of realizing new cancer diagnosis methods and clinical sequence testing as soon as possible.
1 This type of medicine involves analyzing the relationship between genetic information and disease in order to predict the onset risk of diseases and aid in selecting the most effective course of treatment.
2 Comprehensive analysis of disease-related genes for diagnosis and prevention of cancer and similar diseases.
3 This international standard specifies requirements for quality and competence in medical laboratories.
Sysmex BMA laboratory
Sysmex Corporation provides a lab assay service for research related to gene testing through the Sysmex BMA laboratory and the Sysmex IMP laboratory in the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster (Port Island).
In December 2017, in collaboration with our subsidiary, Sysmex Inostics, we launched a lab assay service (for research) using BEAMing technology for detecting minute quantities of cancer-derived DNA in the blood in Japan, following our offering of the service in Germany and the United States. As a result, we expect to reduce the burden of specimen transport for customers in Japan (research institutions, universities, medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies), and report results more quickly.
In addition, we provide the Curebest™ 95GC Breast assay service2, which provides research data to predict recurrence by analyzing breast cancer tissue. By providing a variety of research-use assay services such as these, we aim to contribute to personalized medicine, or healthcare that is optimized for individual patients.
1 Provision of laboratory testing results as services
2 An analysis service for measuring the expression amounts of 95 genes related to breast cancer prognosis
iPS cell transplantation therapy is divided into two methods: autologous transplantation, where cells produced from iPS cells derived from a patient’s own body are used, and allogeneic transplantation, which uses cells produced from iPS cells derived from a donor who meets certain criteria (allogeneic iPS cells).
At issue with autologous transplantation is the significant time and cost required to prepare cells for transplantation. Allogeneic transplantation, on the other hand, may have the potential to provide cells with assured quality for transplantation therapy timely, stably and inexpensively, because allogeneic iPS cells are managed in cell banks2, and cells for transplant are produced systematically in standardized processes. For this reason, allogeneic transplantation appears to hold promise for the proliferation of regenerative medicine. That said, since allogenic transplantation—the treatment method using donor-derived allogeneic iPS cells—may induce post-transplant immunorejection3, it is necessary to develop a new testing method to confirm prior to transplantation whether cells are suitable for transplant, including the possibility of immunorejection.
In July 2016, Sysmex Corporation, HEALIOS K.K. and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd., commenced joint R&D on a pre-transplant immune reaction testing method for using retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from allogenic iPS cells. Sysmex will use its imaging flow cytometry and protein analysis technologies to develop the pre-transplant immune reaction testing method for RPE cells derived from allogenic iPS cells that have been jointly developed by HEALIOS and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma targeting patients with macular degeneration4 and other ocular diseases. Through collaborative R&D employing leading-edge technologies, we will contribute to the popularization of regenerative medicine.
1 An abbreviation for induced pluripotent stem cells, iPS cells that are produced from human skin cells or others by transfection of several factors are capable of differentiation into many types of cells organizing
2 To produce final products on a sustained and stable basis, cells that have been prepared from a single cell under defined conditions (cultivation in advance) are dispensed into multiple containers and stored under defined conditions. For iPS cells, a project of “iPS Cell Stock for Regenerative Medicine” is underway by using cells harvested from healthy Japanese volunteers.
3 In this reaction, the body works to protect itself by resisting the invasion of foreign substances, activating immune cells to block the invasion. As this reaction is central to the success or failure of tissue and cell transplants, currently immunosuppressive agents are used to control the rejection reaction.
4 Retinal maculae play an important role in the ability to see, but damage due to advancing age can cause degeneration, resulting in illness in which the eyesight is impaired. In one type of age-related macular degeneration, the macular structure takes on an “atrophic form” along with advancing age. In another, the “exudative form,” new vessels form just below the retina (neovascularity), causing damage to the maculae.
In line with aging populations, the number of people around the world diagnosed with dementia is rising each year. Some 9.9 million people develop dementia every year, and globally the number of people with dementia is expected to rise from 46.8 million in 2015 to 74.7 million in 2030 and 131.5 million by 2050*.
Early detection and early treatment can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, so early diagnosis is extremely important. However, issues exist with the brain imaging examinations and cerebrospinal fluid examinations that are necessary for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. These issues include an insufficient number of facilities for examinations, high costs and the invasiveness of the testing.
Sysmex Corporation has signed a comprehensive agreement in the field of dementia with Eisai Co., Ltd., which has a wealth of knowledge and technologies related to drug discovery in the field of Alzheimer's disease (February 2016). While we have the technology to measure genes, proteins and cells with a high degree of sensitivity, by leveraging each other’s technologies and knowledge, the two companies aim to discover next-generation diagnostic drugs that will enable early diagnosis, selection of the treatment options and the regular monitoring of the effects of treatment for dementia.
* “World Alzheimer Report 2015,” Alzheimer’s Disease International
Sysmex Super-Resolution Fluorescence Microscope Wins Good Design Gold Award 2017
Super-Resolution Fluorescence Microscope
The super-resolution fluorescence microscope developed by Sysmex Corporation received the Good Design Gold Award 2017 (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Award).
This microscope, which enables the observation of the morphology of proteins measuring only tens of nanometers, is being used in joint research for Alzheimer’s disease with Eisai Co., Ltd.
In addition to its functionality, specific areas in which the product was considered superior, and therefore selected for the Good Design Gold Award, included the fact that it needs less dedicated space than conventional super-resolution fluorescence microscopes and does not require a specialized environment such as a darkroom, enabling its introduction at facilities where installing those conventional microscopes are problematic. The product also earned high marks for its exterior design, which is simple and evokes a sense of innovation.
Sysmex provides products and services in the hematology, urinalysis and immunochemistry fields in more than 190 countries around the world. Global demand for testing is increasing each year, evidenced by evermore sophisticated healthcare in advanced countries and the establishment of healthcare infrastructure in emerging markets. In tandem with this demand, there exists a growing need for automated system products that boost productivity in line with facility characteristics, including laboratory scale, the number of tests processed, and the number of clinical laboratory technologists. Sysmex proposes myriad combinations and systems that conform to the environments of customer facilities by making products more compact, faster and adopting a modular concept*.
* Individual modules can be combined to create a diverse variety of product configurations. The series also allows for flexibility in testing throughput, increasing or reducing capacity in line with customer needs.