iXensor receives Rohto Pharmaceutical’s investment to boost technology licensing

Taiwanese mobile health developer iXensor has obtained an undisclosed strategic investment from Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. to broaden the access to its core technology that transforms smartphones into IVD devices.

On Wednesday, the company announced that the publicly-listed Japanese pharma company became its latest partner and shareholder who will help expand its business globally and promote its technology licensing business.

Through the partnership, Rohto also aims to expand its testing and diagnostic business by first securing a separate technology licensing and joint development deal with iXensor, providing its Japanese customers access to self-testing tools for women’s health and infectious diseases.


iXensor’s core technology platform, PixoTech, transforms smartphones into IVD tools. Backed by more than 70 international patents, it is built with proprietary algorithms to analyse all types of immunoassay and enzymatic tests, which are captured via a smartphone camera. It detects the colour change reaction in test strips using lighting and image sensing modules of smartphones. 

According to a press statement, the mobile health firm is seeking to accelerate the growth of the at-home self-testing market through licensing its PixoTech technology. “The licensing business of PixoTech technology started shifting in as the new engine to drive iXensor’s growth,” said CEO Dr Carson Chen.

The global self-testing market is seen to reach $8.11 billion in value by 2027, growing at a 4.5% CAGR from 2020, according to Brandessence Market Research. What will drive its growth, the report noted, are the availability of self-testing for COVID-19, the increasing burden of chronic diseases like diabetes, and growing awareness about self-testing for diseases such as HIV.

PixoTech, the company claims, can be flexibly applied to digitise various lateral flow tests, assisting more IVD manufacturers to quickly venture into digital health.  

“It can also be applied to develop companion diagnostic or remote monitoring tools for pharmaceuticals to prove the efficacy of new classes of medications with actual test results collected from patients’ smartphones with comfort at home,” it added.


In 2017, iXensor’s flagship product, PixoTest Glucose Monitoring System, became the world’s first US Food and Drug Administration-approved smartphone-based blood test. Since then, many smartphone-based diagnostics came into the market, such as ResApp, a mobile diagnostic tool in Australia for screening COVID-19.

In other news, Japanese medical device manufacturer Sysmex Corporation last year signed joint development and investment deals with biotechnology startup ThinkCyte to develop new AI-enabled cell analysis tech for IVD. The latter has created a novel cell analysis tech called Ghost Cytometry, which could enable the effective determination of clinical conditions using bodily fluids and increase the accuracy of various cell-based diagnoses.


Commenting on their latest investment in iXensor, Rohto Pharmaceutical Chief Strategy Officer Hidetoshi Segi said: “By investing in iXensor, we can deepen our joint efforts on a series of new product developments, thus expanding our testing and diagnostic business through a wave of digital transformation”.