Decision of the Supreme Court of California in litigation with Actelion Ltd. of Switzerland

March 13, 2014
Asahi Kasei Corp.

With regard to litigation in the US by Asahi Kasei’s subsidiary Asahi Kasei Pharma against Actelion Ltd. of Switzerland and its affiliated companies and executives in relation to a license agreement for fasudil, a rho-kinase inhibitor discovered and owned by Asahi Kasei Pharma, the Supreme Court of California made a decision on March 12, 2014 (local time).

In June 2006 Asahi Kasei Pharma concluded a license agreement with CoTherix, Inc., under which CoTherix was granted development and commercialization rights for fasudil. Actelion then acquired CoTherix in January 2007. As CoTherix subsequently discontinued the development of fasudil, Asahi Kasei Pharma instituted litigation in November 2008 against Actelion and its affiliated companies and their executives at the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo, claiming damages from the defendants for unlawfully stopping the development.

The California Superior Court entered a judgment in November 2011 ordering the defendants to pay US$415.7 million in recognition of the petition of Asahi Kasei Pharma. Thereafter, the case was brought to the Court of Appeal of California, which entered a judgment in December 2013 to affirm the Superior Court judgment in full.

The defendants further filed a petition for review to the Supreme Court of California and the Supreme Court denied the petition on March 12, 2014 (local time).

The effect on the consolidated financial performance of the Asahi Kasei Group will be disclosed without delay when it becomes clear.

About Actelion

Actelion Ltd., established in 1997, is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, with consolidated net revenue of CHF1,786 million in 2013. Its main product is Tracleer®, a therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension.


Rho-kinase is a phosphorylating enzyme involved in intracellular signaling. It has drawn attention in recent years as a biologically functional molecule for control of the constriction and relaxation vascular smooth muscle. Vasoconstriction is accentuated when rho-kinase present in vascular smooth muscle becomes abnormally active, resulting in impairment of tissue function due to insufficient blood flow. As a rho-kinase inhibitor, fasudil suppresses vasoconstriction while enabling improvement to the accompanying tissue damage.


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