Rakuten Medical, Inc. (Rakuten Medical) has newly established its subsidiary in India, Rakuten Medical Private Limited (Rakuten Medical India) to strengthen its position in the country and expand its presence worldwide. The Mumbai-based company plans to develop and commercialize treatments based on the Alluminox™ platform in India, beginning with head and neck cancer. To ensure a strong footprint, Mickey Mikitani, Co-CEO of Rakuten Medical recently visited leading medical institutions in the country to exchange views on the current status and future development of cancer treatment.
In India, the total number of new cancer patients in 2020 was over 1.3 million – the 4th largest population of cancer patients in the world1. Particulary, there is a high occurrence of head and neck cancer, which accounts for 30% of all cancer types2. India accounts for ~26% of all head and neck cancer cases globally1. The majority of these patients present with advanced disease2, which also corresponds with poorer outcomes and higher mortality rates.
Rakuten Medical’s proprietary technology platform Alluminox combines the power of light with drug, device, and other related components to develop new, innovative therapies. Illuminating the targeted cells with non-thermal light activates the cell-bound drug, which leads to rapid and selective cell killing. This therapy has potential to be a 5th pillar of cancer treatment.
“I am very pleased to have established our own base in India and to be able to exchange views with prominent Indian medical professionals. By transforming treatment in India where there is a significant number of cancer patients and high unmet needs in the world, we hope to contribute to the lives of as many patients as possible,” said Mickey Mikitani, Co-CEO of Rakuten Medical.
“Rakuten Medical’s technology has an unprecedented mechanism of action that selectively and precisely attacks targeted cells,” said Dr. Rajendra Achyut Badwe, Director and Head of Surgical Oncology at Tata Memorial Centre. “We are delighted that Rakuten Medical is bringing its completely new cancer treatment to India. We will collect robust data to ascertain efficacy as well as effectiveness of this novel therapy in head and neck cancers.”
Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Founder and Chairman at Narayana Health said, “We are welcoming the pioneering technology of Rakuten Medical, which will potentially help people in India lead healthier lives, and happy to support Rakuten Medical in its mission to ‘Conquer cancer’.”
- J Ferlay, M Ervik, F Lam, et al, eds. Global Cancer Observatory: Cancer Today. International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2020. Accessed, August 23, 2022. http://gco.iarc.fr/today
- Kulkarni MR. Head and Neck Cancer Burden in India. Int J Head and Neck Surg 2013;4(1):29-35
* Rakuten Medical’s therapies based on Alluminox™ platform are investigational outside of Japan, and not approved in India for investigational or commercial us.