TOKYO─ Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) has executed a joint research agreement with Midtown Clinic Medical Corporation (hereinafter 'Midtown Clinic') and HIMEIDIC Inc. that will verify the effectiveness of microRNA technology in the early detection of cancer. Midtown Clinic is a Tokyo-based medical center that provides medical services with management support from HIMEDIC Inc., a group company of Resorttrust, Inc. (TOKYO: 4681), the operator of membership-based healthcare and resort businesses.
Toshiba's original miRNA detection technology was developed as part of a Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) project, 'Development of Diagnostic Technology for Detection of miRNA in Body Fluids*2,' that promoted key
technologies and the discovery and manufacture of drugs for next-generation cancer diagnosis and treatment.
After further research and development that combined Toshiba's technology and the advanced medical knowledge of Professor Takahiro Ochiya of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo Medical University and the National Cancer Center Japan, Toshiba announced the microRNA system on November 25, 2019. At the R&D level the system was found to be able to detect the presence of any of 13 different cancers, including pancreatic cancer and breast cancer, in only a few hours with 99% accuracy. In real-world application, it is expected to detect very early-stage cancers, including stage 0 cancers, and to realize same-day results by using Toshiba's microRNA chip and compact, dedicated testing devices to reduce testing times.
The joint research between Toshiba and Midtown Clinic aims to verify the effectiveness of microRNA detection technology for cancer screening by collecting approximately 1,000 samples and by leveraging the technologies and knowledge of both partners.
Under 'Toshiba Next Plan', five-year transformation plan, Toshiba Group aims to implement cutting-edge technologies that can contribute to society as new infrastructure services. The joint research will be the first step toward the social implementation of miRNA detection technology, which is expected to realize high-precision early detection of cancer.
About Midtown Clinic Medical Corporation
About HIMEDIC, Inc.
https://www.himedic.co.jp/ (only in Japanese)
https://www.himedic.jp/ (only in Japanese)
microRNA molecules, short nucleic acid molecules (consisting of about 20 bases) that regulate genes and proteins in the body, are known to be stable in blood. Examination of the types and quantity of microRNA in blood has recently been found to potentially enable early detection of various cancers, such as lung cancer and breast cancer. This discovery has triggered anticipation for microRNA as a novel diagnostic marker.
*2 'Development of Diagnostic Technology for Detection of miRNA in Body Fluids' project
A project conducted by the National Cancer Research Center in 2014-2018, that aimed to develop a new microRNA-based cancer detection system through comprehensive analysis of miRNA in patients' body fluids.