Press Releases

TOPPAN FORMS Enters into a Capital Alliance with Hiromitsu Bio Science in the Life Care Field

July 27, 2018

DigitalHybrid Company TOPPAN FORMS CO., LTD. (hereinafter “TOPPAN FORMS”) has concluded a capital alliance agreement with Hirotsu Bio Science Inc. (head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Takaaki Hirotsu; hereinafter “Hirotsu Bio”), undertaking part of the new stocks allocated to a third party by Hirotsu Bio.
TOPPAN FORMS commenced the Frontier Business in FY2018 with the view to creating businesses that can be next-generation mainstays. The investment in Hirotsu Bio of its undertaking. Through collaboration with Hirotsu Bio, TOPPAN FORMS will enter and work on new business in the life care field.

Hirotsu Bio is currently researching and developing N-NOSE, the cancer testing service using the tremendous olfactory sensation of nematode worms. N-NOSE is a primary screening test using urine for testing: procedures that are easy and free from pain and permit comprehensive cancer screening. Its excellent characteristics include low cost, high sensitivity and ealry detection. Large-scale clinical research is already underway in cooperation with medical institutes. The research has confirmed that N-NOSE can detect at least 18 carcinomas including common cancers.
TOPPAN FORMS will provide support to commercialization by 2020, and the nationwide expansion of N-NOSE within the business scheme constructed by Hirotsu Bio, making effectively use of the experience in handling personal information it has developed over many years.

TOPPAN FORMS will construct a basis proactively to enter the data health business, including the aforementioned field, as an information management company through collaboration with Hirotsu Bio.

  • *“DigitalHybrid” is a registered trademark of TOPPAN FORMS CO., LTD.
  • *“N-NOSE” is a registered trademark of Hirotsu Bio Science Inc.
  • * Other written product names are the registered trademarks or brands of each company.

Reference Information

■ About Hirotsu Bio Science Inc.
  • Company name:
    Hirotsu Bio Science Inc.
  • Address of the head office:
    2F, Forum Building, 2-24-11 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
  • Founded in:
    August 2016
  • Representative:
    Takaaki Hirotsu, CEO
  • Line of Business:
    biological diagnostics research: research, development, manufacturing, and sale of cancer diagnostic testing equipment utilizing c. elegans and c. elegans olfactory sensors
  • URL

■N-NOSE, the cancer screening test using nematodes

Hirotsu Bio Science Inc., which possesses cutting-edge nematode behavoir analytic technology, is working to commercialize N-NOSE. N-NOSE is a cancer test for detecting very small amounts of a substance with a specific odor that is contained in the urine of cancerous patients. N-NOSE is based on the nature of nematodes (chemotaxis): The worm is attracted by the urine of cancer patients while it stays away from the urine of healthy people. Convenient and inexpensive, the test detects many types of cancer and enables early detection. The latest clinical reserch results have shown that the sensitivity and specificity(*1) are approximaly 90% in 1000 specimens(*2) of analyzed cases. The test is expected to be sold for around 8000 yen in January 2020, when commercialization is scheduled.
If N‒NOSE finds widespread application, the rate of cancer examinations will increase, the rate of early detection will rise, and medical expense will be drastically reduced.
*1:The probability of identification of patients with cancer (sensitivity) and the probability of identification of healthy people (specificiy)
*2: Number of specimens as of the end of June 2018

■ Purpose and significance of N-NOSE, the nematode-based cancer test

Cancer has been the leading cause of death among Japanese since 1981. One in two Japanese experience cancer, and one in three die from the disease. The cancer screening rate has remained low although the importance of early detection has been reported. It may be because of the pain accompanied by testing procedures, the time involved in testing, and the expensive nature of the tests. N-NOSE is expected to serve as the primary cancer screening test, ensuring a low-cost, highly sensitive and burdenless examination if it is commercialized.

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