Expansion into Life Sciences as a New Business Sector
- Established a joint development agreement with Atonarp Inc., the developer of an advanced optical measurement platform -

May 24, 2021

  • Accelerate the creation of new businesses in the life sciences sector directed at achieving the Furukawa Electric Group Vision 2030.
  • Established a strategic investment and joint R&D partnership with Atonarp Inc. Through contributions to improving the measurement platform in development by Atonarp, realize technological innovation in the life sciences sector.
  • Apply the company's photonics technology to life sciences and support the development and commercialization of Atonarp's measurement platform for life sciences.

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. (Head Office: 2-3, Marunouchi 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Keiichi Kobayashi; hereafter "Furukawa Electric") has designated life sciences as a new business sector for the company and is accelerating initiatives aimed at making it a new pillar of its business. As one such effort, Furukawa Electric has agreed to jointly develop with and investment in Atonarp Inc. (Head Office: 1-10-18 Shibadaimon, Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Prakash Murthy; hereafter "Atonarp"), the developer of a measurement platform that uses advanced optical measurement technology. Through this agreement, Furukawa Electric will create a life sciences business that includes providing services utilizing digital transformation (DX) and making improvements to Atonarp's measurement platform for use in the life sciences.


In recent years, there has been a strong demand for personalized healthcare, which provides treatment tailored to individuals’ constitution and type of disease to provide improvements in patients' quality of life. Furukawa Electric recognized this demand in Goal three of the Sustainable Development Goals, "good health and well-being."
Furukawa Electric possesses four core technologies (metals, polymers, photonics, and high frequency) and is preparing to create new businesses that leverage the strengths in these core technologies and the company’s emphasis on research & development. In particular, the comprehensive photonics technology accumulated over the years in the telecommunications business, including the high-delta PLC (planar lightwave circuit), optical fiber, and lasers, can increase the speed and accuracy of measurement and diagnostic technology, as well as reduce burden on the patient during treatment. Thus, medical photonics technology is expected to play an essential role in improving the quality of individualized medical care in the future.


Creation of new businesses in the life sciences sector

Medical photonics technology is used in treatment and diagnostic applications, such as the increasingly widespread usage of laser treatment devices. Through designs that utilize the lightweight and small diameters characteristic of optical fiber, it is possible to reduce patient burden compared to existing methods. In addition to individual optical components such as PLC, optical fiber, and lasers, Furukawa Electric possesses unrivaled comprehensive photonics technology, which includes design and manufacturing capabilities. Furukawa Electric’s new business ventures will strive to achieve technological innovations that broadly respond to medical needs based on an overall understanding of the social environment concerning life sciences, through existing medical technology, rapid diagnostics, development of new treatment technology and DX that combines existing telecommunications infrastructure. In addition, by forming alliances with other companies with similar goals, Furukawa Electric will work to steadily create new businesses that make people's lives safer, more peaceful, and rewarding as set forth in the Furukawa Electric Group Vision 2030.

Conclusion of a joint development agreement with Atonarp

Furukawa Electric will provide Atonarp with wide-ranging photonics technology and device assembly know-how directed at the commercialization of the ATON-360 measurement platform for life sciences being developed by Atonarp.
ATON-360 is a measurement platform that uses advanced optical measurement technology and software to enable real-time measurement of the main blood components, such as glucose, from extremely small samples of blood without the need for chemical reagents. This platform has achieved the measurement accuracy required by certification organizations for medical devices used at the research level. Presently, Atonarp is accelerating the efforts to commercialize the ATON-360 platform for use in blood testing, cellular engineering, dialysis treatment, and other applications.
Furukawa Electric will work with Atonarp to continue optimizing the platform's performance, including higher accuracy, smaller size, lower cost, and realization of a non-invasive measurement function directed at promoting the widespread use of the diagnostic equipment equipped with the ATON-360 platform. In addition, Furukawa Electric will provide support for hardware development and commercialization with consideration for DX, including the development of revolutionary new services that will contribute to the early detection, treatment and recovery of diseases through analysis and utilization of the measurement data. Regarding the support for hardware development, Furukawa Electric will consider supplying the photonics components (optical module) used in the improved ATON-360 platform.
In return for the strategic investment, Furukawa Electric has received Series D Preferred Shares issued by Atonarp.

About Atonarp

Atonarp is a molecular diagnostics company reshaping how sensing and diagnostics devices are applied to generate real-time actionable data and achieve drastically better outcomes in healthcare and industrial semiconductor processes. Atonarp is led by a world-class team of experts in the design, development, and productization of highly sensitive diagnostics instruments. Founded in 2010, the company has operations in Japan, India, and the United States.

Incorporated November 2009
Location 1-10-18 Shibadaimon, Minato-ku, Tokyo
President and CEO Sreedhar Murthy Prakash
Business profile Development, manufacture and sale of analytical equipment
Website Atonarp Inc.

Furukawa Electric Group’s efforts towards the SDGs

Based on the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” adopted by the United Nations, the Furukawa Electric Group has formulated the “Furukawa Electric Group Vision 2030” which sets the year 2030 as its target and is advancing efforts with the aim to “Build a sustainable world and make people’s life safe, peaceful and rewarding, Furukawa Electric Group will create solutions for the new generation of global infrastructure combining information, energy and mobility.” Toward the achievement of our Vision 2030, we will take open, agile, and innovative approaches to promote ESG management that that aims to increase corporate value over the medium to long term and will contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.