Conclusion of agreement with National Cancer Center Japan toward comprehensive cooperation
On October 13, through a signing ceremony between President NAKAGAMA Hitoshi of the National Cancer Center Japan (NCC) and JETRO Chairman SASAKI Nobuhiko, JETRO concluded an agreement with the NCC for the promotion of comprehensive cooperation. This is the first agreement for JETRO to sign with a national research and development agency. With the combination of advantages of the NCC—as Japan's pre-eminent cancer research institute―in the healthcare and life-science fields and JETRO's knowhow in international business as well as its overseas network, both parties are expecting a significant synergy effect through working together based on the following axis: 1. the promotion of international collaboration between industry and academia and 2. assistance for startups originated from and related to the NCC.
The NCC and JETRO have worked together in various activities, primarily through NCC Hospital East; headed by Director OHTSU Atsushi and located in Kashiwa, Chiba; and JETRO Chiba. This has led to concrete results, such as collaboration and joint research between the NCC and foreign companies and institutes introduced by JETRO. (Details below.) The agreement is expected to bring further achievement in international collaboration between industry and academia as well as overseas business expansion by startups.
Amid the restriction on cross-border travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both organizations will continuously promote international collaboration between industry and academia through making use of JETRO's overseas network and digital technologies.
Major cooperation coverage
JETRO will work together with the NCC in a broader and more multifaceted manner, primarily based on the following areas.
- 1. Promotion of international collaboration between industry and academia
Promotion of joint research and collaboration between the NCC and companies within Japan and overseas, such as foreign companies and foreign-affiliated companies active in Japan
- The NCC will introduce researchers and those who can play a role in bridging industry and academia and request technologies and knowhow in the fields where it has an interest in collaboration.
- JETRO will introduce foreign companies and foreign-affiliated companies with the desire to implement joint research and work together with NCC researchers.
- 2. Assistance for startups originated from and related to the NCC in expanding business overseas
Helping startups originated from and related to the NCC to grow and enter the overseas market
- The NCC will introduce startups originated from the institute and those which have participated in the NCC Venture Incubation Program.
- JETRO will assist such startups in expanding business overseas and working together with foreign companies, such as through JETRO overseas offices and associated accelerators (Global Acceleration Hubs).
Cases of collaboration between the NCC and foreign companies and institutes through JETRO support
Collaboration between the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) in the US and the National Cancer Center Exploratory Oncology Research & Clinical Trial Center (NCC EPOC) [agreement concluded in September 2021]
- 1. Overview of institute:
The FNLCR is a national research institute under the National Cancer Institute (NCI)—itself part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest healthcare research institute in the US. In addition to the implementation of public research in the biomedical field, primarily oncology, it has been contributing to a drug discovery project utilizing AI by participating in "the ATOM Consortium" as a founding member since its establishment.
- 2．Coverage: Development of medical diagnosis with AI and promotion of drug discovery
- 3. Support by JETRO:
In fiscal 2019, as an activity to draw investment from overseas to Japan, JETRO Chiba invited this institute and offered an opportunity to make a presentation at a symposium. JETRO also arranged meetings with NCC Hospital East and NCC EPOC, located in Kashiwa, Chiba. (This resulted in the start of negotiation toward cooperation.)
The agreement for collaboration was concluded in September 2021.
Arjuna Therapeutics in Spain [Contract for joint research signed in September 2021]
- 1. Overview of company:
A company involved in drug discovery for cancer established in 2019. It is working on research and development of drugs for intractable cancer, such as glioblastoma—the most malignant brain tumor among gliomas, tumors of glial cells supporting nerve cells in the brain.
- 2．Coverage: Joint research on drug discovery for intractable cancer
- 3. Support by JETRO:
In fiscal 2019, JETRO Chiba invited this company to Japan in the real world as an activity for drawing investment from overseas to Japan, and arranged a meeting with NCC Hospital East (located in Kashiwa, Chiba) at a one-on-one business matching event. (As a result, both parties signed a non-disclosure agreement [NDA] and a material transfer agreement [MTA].)
In fiscal 2020, as part of the same activity, JETRO Chiba gave an opportunity for the company to make a pitch presentation and arranged an online meeting with the NCC.
A contract for joint research was concluded in September 2021.