Happy Friday, readers!


Light: It’s a particle. It’s a wave. Could it also be a cancer treatment?


Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani sure thinks so. The serial entrepreneur entered the world of biotech following a devastating pancreatic cancer diagnosis for his father back in 2012. The tragedy spurred him to seek unique solutions to the cancer scourge--including a highly unusual approach called “photoimmunotherapy.”


"One of my friends called me, who was also a friend of my father"s... and said, by the way, my cousin is doing this new project, trying to cure cancer with light," Mikitani explained during a one-on-one interview at our Fortune Brainstorm Health conference on Wednesday. "I was like, this must be a joke. But I was desperate."


Mikitani’s father was eventually taken by the illness. But that didn’t stop him from evangelizing this form of cancer therapy, which involves infusing patients with an “antibody-drug conjugate” (i.e., a pairing of an antibody that makes its way to tumors and a drug that can attack said tumors), and then activating the tumor-killing process with the use of near-infrared light.


Rakuten Aspyrion already has several treatments using this photoimmunotherapy platform in both early- and late-stage clinical trials. "I was ignorant enough to bet on this one," he says of his unconventional approach.


Read on for the day’s news, and have a wonderful weekend.



















Sy Mukherjee

@the_sy_guy

[email protected]

DIGITAL HEALTH

The money in gene editing. (Fortune)


INDICATIONS

Sanofi preps for more layoffs. (FiercePharma)


THE BIG PICTURE

E. coli outbreak hits 5 states. (Reuters)


Memorial Sloan Kettering faces conflict of interest allegations. (New York Times)


REQUIRED READING

Health Care Providers Can Learn from Personal Care Product Marketing, by Erika Fry


Microsoft and Google Face Employee Protests, by Ellen McGirt


Why Accenture Bought a Digital Ad Agency, by Adam Lashinsky


SEC Guidance Sparks Fear and Loathing in Crypto Industry, by Jeff John Roberts


[ceo_attribution author="Produced by Sy Mukherjee" email="[email protected]" twitter="the_sy_guy"] Find past coverage. Sign up for other Fortune newsletters.





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