Juntendo University, Sysmex, and ThinkCyte collaborate to advance the early detection and treatment of blood cancer

Tokyo & Kobe | April 18, 2023

Juntendo University, Sysmex Corporation, and ThinkCyte K.K. have announced a collaborative research partnership to advance the early detection and treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). The joint research program aims to develop a sensitive diagnostic approach for blood cancers and deliver critical new cellular insights to advance the treatment of CML using Ghost Cytometry, ThinkCyte’s artificial intelligence (AI)-driven cell characterization and sorting technology.

Under the partnership, the research teams will apply a novel approach that captures high-resolution information about the structure, shape, and size of cells (morphology) at high speed. By generating ‘morphometric signatures’ directly from CML patient samples, the research teams seek to identify, isolate, and characterize disease-driving cells. Detecting small numbers of disease-driving tumor cells in CML can aid in the early diagnosis and intervention of disease; a crucial factor affecting long-term outcomes. By isolating these cells, researchers will also be able to advance the development of CML treatments by gaining a better understanding of how patients develop resistance to existing drugs and identifying new approaches to treating the disease.

“Although the development of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has greatly improved the prognosis of patients with CML, the rate of disease relapse after stopping TKI therapy is still very high,” said Dr. Tomoiku Takaku MD, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Hematology at Juntendo University. “The development of new rapid and minimally invasive tools to diagnose the disease early and guide our understanding of how therapeutic agents targeting leukemia stem cells is key to advancing patient care. We believe this research will lead to findings that help reduce the burden of high drug costs and unwanted daily side effects that many CML patients face.”

The three organizations have been jointly developing approaches to capture unique, disease-specific morphological differences between blood cancer cells and normal white blood cells using Ghost Cytometry.

“Ghost Cytometry has the potential to be a powerful new cell analysis technology for many hematological conditions. Starting with CML, we believe that the diagnosis and treatment of blood cancer be greatly advanced by this joint research program,” said Tomokazu Yoshida, Member of the Managing Board and Senior Executive Officer Managing Director, CTO at Sysmex Corporation. “Sysmex has a rich history of expertise in cellular measurement technology cultivated in the diagnostic field and we are proud to contribute our research and development expertise to Juntendo University and ThinkCyte to provide direct impact to CML patients.”

The research is supported in part by Japan’s Small and Medium Enterprise Agency’s “Go-Tech Project”, which seeks to advance technologies with a demonstrated ability to modernize basic research in future high-growth industries.

“We are very excited about the research partnership with Juntendo University and Sysmex, who were quick to focus on our technology’s potential to advance research in areas of unmet medical need,” said Waichiro Katsuda at ThinkCyte. “We believe that Ghost Cytometry can be an innovative approach to developing new diagnostic and therapeutic methods for many indications and look forward to the results of this joint research effort.”


About Juntendo University

The mission of Juntendo University is to strive for advances in society through international-level education, research, healthcare, and liberal arts. To accomplish this mission, based on the Japanese idiom “Sanmu Syugi”, Juntendo University accepts anyone regardless of gender, nationality, or academic background who embodies the university motto “Jin – I exist as you ” and the principle of “Fudan Zenshin – Continuously Moving Forward”.

Juntendo University plays an integral role in shaping Japanese medical education and practices as an institution consisting of eight undergraduate programs, four graduate programs, and six hospitals.



About Sysmex Corporation           

In line with its mission of “shaping the advancement of healthcare,” which is defined in the “Sysmex Way,” the corporate philosophy of the Sysmex Group, Sysmex works to contribute to the development of healthcare and the healthy lives of people. Sysmex conducts integrated R&D, manufacturing and sales, and provides support services for its instruments, reagents and software for in vitro testing of blood, urine and other bodily fluids. Sysmex supplies its products to medical institutions in more than 190 countries and regions throughout the world. In recent years, Sysmex has been expanding its business in the life science domain, using proprietary technologies to create new testing and diagnostic value, realize healthcare that is optimized for individual patients, and help reduce patients’ burdens and enhance their quality of life.


About ThinkCyte

ThinkCyte, founded in 2016 with offices in Tokyo, Japan and Redwood City, California is a biotechnology company that develops innovative scientific instruments based on integrated, multidisciplinary technologies to enable life science research, diagnostics, and therapeutic development. The company’s flagship product, VisionSort, is the world’s first AI-based, dual-mode fluorescence and morphometric cell sorting platform and it partners with major global biopharmaceutical companies and leading academic research institutes to further drive groundbreaking research. For more information, please visit

To learn more about research partnerships or other partnering opportunities with ThinkCyte, email