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Mitsui and Preferred Networks Partner on Biomedical/Healthcare Solutions

Japanese global trading giant Mitsui & Co. and leading deep learning startup Preferred Networks (PFN) have announced a joint venture in the US to provide Biomedical/Healthcare Solutions, including Cancer Diagnostic Services, based on deep learning technology.

Japanese global trading giant Mitsui & Co. and leading deep learning startup Preferred Networks (PFN) have announced a joint venture in the US to provide Biomedical/Healthcare Solutions, including Cancer Diagnostic Services, based on deep learning technology. Preferred Networks America COO Nobuyuki Ota has been named CEO of the joint venture.

In recent years deep learning technology has made significant progress in the fields of biomedical/healthcare, with applications in drug discovery, diagnostics and treatment, and other related areas.

The global market for deep learning based biomedical/healthcare solutions is expected to grow continuously. PFN has set cancer diagnostics as one of its key focus areas. The joint venture will draw on PFN’s technology in cancer diagnostics and Mitsui’s network in the healthcare field — including hospital groups, related assets, as well as business partners — to accelerate biomedical/healthcare solution development and implementation into society.

Mitsui and PFN will begin by accelerating cancer detection research. “We aim to develop an early cancer diagnostics service based on deep learning technology. Our goal is to save people who potentially suffer from cancer through early detection, and ultimately establish a preventive healthcare platform,” said the joint venture’s new CEO Nobuyuki Ota.

Says Satoshi Tanaka, Representative Director and Executive Vice President of Mitsui & Co., “Healthcare related businesses have been positioned as a growth area in our Medium-term Management Plan. We are delighted to collaborate with PFN, a leading deep learning technology company, to develop innovative technologies and expand its business overseas.”

Preferred Networks President & CEO Toru Nishikawa commented: “Since 2014, PFN has been continuously engaged in research and development to apply deep learning technology to the field of medicine. We are extremely pleased to be able to extend our partnership with Mitsui in launching collaborative projects that utilize the results of these R&D efforts, including those in a cancer diagnosis, in the United States.”

 Name of Company Preferred Medicine, Inc.
Head Office 330 Primrose Road., Burlingame, CA, USA, 94010
Establishment November 2018
CEO Nobuyuki Ota
Capital US$1 million (Mitsui 50%, PFN 50%)
Business activities Development and operation of biomedical/healthcare solutions, initially focusing on cancer diagnostics based on deep learning as well as other types of machine learning technology

Tentative joint venture profile courtesy Mitsui and Preferred Networks

Preferred Networks (PFN) was founded in 2014 and promotes business utilization of deep learning technology focused on IoT and Edge Heavy Computing in transportation, manufacturing and bio/healthcare. PFN develops and provides the open source deep learning framework Chainer and has collaborated with organizations such as Toyota Motor Corporation, Fanuc Corporation and the National Cancer Center of Japan.

(Information provided by Mitsui and Preferred Networks)

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