Press Release

Sysmex and ImmuniT Research Enter Agreement on the Sublicensing of a Patent Related to a Diagnosing Method for Predicting Efficacy of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Sysmex Corporation (HQ: Kobe, Japan; Chairman and CEO: Hisashi Ietsugu) and ImmuniT Research Inc. (Location: Minato-ku, Tokyo: Representative Director: Masahiko Fukuzawa) have entered an agreement on a patent, held under exclusive license by ImmuniT Research, related to a diagnosing method for predicting efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) by using peripheral blood. The agreement grants Sysmex the right to sublicense this patent.

ICIs are attracting a great deal of attention around the world due to their great therapeutic effect on many types of cancer. However, ICIs are not efficacious for some patients, even those with the same types of cancer, leading to increasing demand for diagnosing methods for predicting efficacy of ICIs. 

Professor Hiroshi Kagamu, of the Department of Respiratory Medicine of the Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, has invented a highly specific and highly sensitive method for predicting the effects of an ICI (Nivolumab) by studying lymphocytes in peripheral blood. Research results were presented to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in June 2017, and medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies have shown a strong interest in this method, as its improved accuracy of prediction is expected to enhance the efficiency of cancer treatment by realizing effective use of ICI. 

On August 3, 2017, ImmuniT Research entered a license agreement with Saitama Medical University for an exclusive license of the patent, and ImmuniT Research aims to develop and commercialize diagnostic technologies based on the patent. 

With the aim of the early practical realization of diagnostic technologies based on the patent, Sysmex and ImmuniT Research have entered an agreement that grants Sysmex the right to sublicense ImmuniT Research’s exclusive patent license.

Developing these diagnostic technologies will enable practicable prediction of the efficacy of ICIs from tiny quantities of blood rather than using cancer tissue, thereby contributing to the selection of optimal treatments based on testing results for individual patients.

Sysmex and ImmuniT Research aim to take a major step forward in cancer treatment through the early commercialization of technologies for diagnosing the efficacy of ICIs.


Sysmex Corporation
Name: Sysmex Corporation
Established: February 20, 1968
Location: 1-5-1, Wakinohama-Kaigandori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Japan
Representative: Hisashi Ietsugu, Chairman and CEO
Line of business Development, manufacture, sales, import and export of diagnostic instruments and reagents, and related software

ImmuniT Research Inc.

Name: ImmuniT Research Inc.
Established: May 15, 2017
Location: 2F Landwork Aoyama, 2-7-26 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 
Representative: Masahiko Fukuzawa, Representative Director
Scientific Advisor: Hiroshi Kagamu, Professor, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center
Line of business Research into methods to determine the clinical effects and the development of test kits related to immune checkpoint inhibitors
Gene analysis related to immunotherapies
Research into new immunotherapies

  • Information contained in the press release is current as of the date of the announcement,
    but may be subject to change without prior notice.

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