Artisan Pharma, Inc. becomes a wholly owned subsidiary

November 8, 2011
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.

Asahi Kasei Pharma has acquired all shares in Artisan Pharma, Inc., making it a wholly owned subsidiary. The company name has been changed to Asahi Kasei Pharma America Corp., and the new subsidiary will serve as a base for the development of pharmaceuticals in the US.

In 2006 Asahi Kasei Pharma established Artisan Pharma together with several venture capital firms, and licensed its ART-123 (recombinant thrombomodulin alpha, marketed as Recomodulin™ in Japan) to the new company for the advancement of overseas development. Artisan Pharma conducted a global Phase IIb clinical trial for ART-123 for the treatment of DIC in sepsis, which was completed in 2010. Artisan’s shareholders subsequently advanced discussions on the best approach for implementation of a Phase III clinical trial, reaching the conclusion that it would be optimal for Asahi Kasei Pharma to acquire full ownership and perform the clinical trial on its own in order to facilitate the processes and procedures for the trial and receive approval for ART-123 as swiftly as possible.

Profile of Artisan Pharma, Inc. (before acquisition)

President: Inder Kaul, MD, MPH
Location: Waltham, MA, USA
Business line: Clinical trials for new drugs, sale of pharmaceuticals
Major shareholders: NGN Capital LLC, JAFCO, Bio*One Capital

Profile of Asahi Kasei Pharma America Corp. (after acquisition)

President: Naoyuki Ono
Location: Waltham, MA, USA
Business line: Clinical trials for new drugs, sale of pharmaceuticals
Major shareholders: Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. (100%)

About ART-123 (Recomodulin™)

Recomodulin™ is a thrombomodulin agent manufactured using genetic recombination technology. It acts as an anticoagulant by suppressing the activity and production of thrombin, a blood coagulation factor. Reports in recent years indicate that thrombomodulin also has anti-inflammatory effects.

About DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation)

DIC is a severe condition in which infectious diseases, leukemia, malignant neoplasm (cancer), etc. cause blood coagulation in capillaries throughout the body, leading to widespread microthrombi formation and ultimately contributing to multiple organ dysfunction and death.

About sepsis

Sepsis is a medical condition that is characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state caused by an infection. Without treatment, sepsis will almost certainly lead to death due to shock, DIC, multiple organ dysfunction, etc. Even with treatment, prognoses have not generally been favorable, as sepsis tends to occur in patients whose physical condition is already severely compromised.


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