June 1, 2006
Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.
Kuraray Medical Inc.

Establishment of joint venture for medical membrane production
Asahi Kasei Medical and Kuraray Medical have reached basic agreement for the establishment of a joint venture for the production of hollow-fiber membrane for use in medical devices, using Eval® ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) from Kuraray Co., Ltd.

The agreement is based on a determination by Asahi Kasei Medical and Kuraray Medical that joint investment in production facilities was necessary to secure the stable supply of medical devices for hemodialysis and blood purification.

Asahi Kasei Medical's hemodialysis product lineup is centered on dialyzers using polysulfone hollow-fiber membrane, the world standard for high performance, featuring outstanding clearance of low-molecular-weight proteins. Complementing its lineup with dialyzers using EVOH hollow-fiber membrane, featuring outstanding biocompatibility and enabling mild and gentle therapy for older patients and those just beginning hemodialysis, will give Asahi Kasei Medical a wider offering for dialysis centers to provide the optimum therapy to each patient.

Kuraray Medical's EVOH hollow-fiber production facility is currently located in the Kurashiki Plant of Kuraray Co., Ltd. As part of a reorganization of the Kurashiki Plant, Kuraray Medical has been studying where this facility would best be relocated. As Asahi Kasei Medical had expressed interest in adding EVOH-membrane dialyzers to its lineup, it was determined that the Nobeoka area, near Oita where Kuraray Medical's dialyzer assembly is performed, would be ideal.

The interests of the two parties thus coinciding well, the agreement to establish a joint facility was reached.

Essentials of the new joint venture
Name: A-K Membrane Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
President: Tatsuo Hiyoshi, Managing Director of Asahi Kasei Medical
Product: Eval® EVOH hollow-fiber membrane for medical devices
Establishment: June 2006
Capacity: 4 million modules-equivalent (2.6 million initially)
Location: Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan
Start-up: May 2008
Investment: Approx. ¥2.5 billion (approx. ¥2 billion initially)
Paid-in capital: ¥490 million
Shareholding: 50% Asahi Kasei Medical, 50% Kuraray Medical
Employees: Approx. 50

Asahi Kasei Medical corporate profile
President: Yasuyuki Yoshida
Establishment: July 1974
Paid-in capital: ¥800 million
Shareholding: 100% by Asahi Kasei Pharma
Head office: Tokyo, Japan
Production facilities:
  Nobeoka - production of hollow-fiber dialyzer membrane and other products
Oita - assembly of dialyzers and blood filters
China - assembly of dialyzers
Employees: Approx. 1,700 (as of Mar. 31, 2006)
Sales: ¥40.1 billion (year ended March 2006)
Main products:
  Dialyzers, leukoreduction filters for transfusion, blood purification products, Planova™ virus removal filters  

Kuraray Medical corporate profile
President: Hideo Horii
Establishment: June 2001
Paid-in capital: ¥2.5 billion
Shareholding: 100% by Kuraray Co., Ltd.
Head office: Tokyo, Japan
Production facilities:
  Kurashiki - production of hollow-fiber dialyzer membrane, dental adhesive, and dental filling resin  
Employees: Approx. 340 (as of Mar. 31, 2006)
Sales: ¥12.8 billion (year ended March 2006)
Main products:
  Dialyzers, blood purification products, dental adhesive and filling resin  

Eval® is a registered trademark of Kuraray Co., Ltd.



Adobe Readeris required to view these PDF files.

page top