Asahi Kasei Medical
  • Site Map
  • Contact Us
  • Font size: Small
  • Font size: Medium
  • Font size: Large
  • Home
  • Our Approach to Business
  • Corporate Information
  • News
  • Products
  • Patients and Families

Business Domains

We have consistently maintained top market shares in dialysis, apheresis, blood transfusion safety and bioprocess engineering, which we have pioneered by applying and developing the rich and variegated technologies and research of the Asahi Kasei Group. Here, we describe our four businesses which contribute to healthcare and pharmaceutical development through our high-quality products and dependable service.

Dialysis Business

Global Leader Driving Progress in Dialysis Therapy.

Dialysis Business

In 1974 we began manufacturing a hollow fiber dialyzer (artificial kidney) developed using our original cellulose fiber technology based on our long experience as a chemical and fiber maker. In the years since then, we have worked to improve the quality-consistency and technology of dialyzers and dialyzer system technology to meet growing demand for hemodialysis therapy at home and abroad. Our dialyzers are used in more than 70 countries worldwide and hold the leading market share in Japan.

The hemodialysis business that we pioneered in Japan and overseas forms the foundation that supports the Asahi Kasei Group’s medical enterprises. Our expertise in separation technology using membranes and adsorbents is contributing to the development and widespread adoption of advanced treatment technologies for improved safety in therapeutic apheresis and blood products for transfusion.

Therapeutic Apheresis Business

Making Therapeutic Apheresis Available Worldwide to Expand Treatment Options and Possibilities.

Therapeutic Apheresis Business

Our apheresis business grew out of the Asahi Kasei Group’s dialyzer business, leveraging our state-of-the-art membrane separation and adsorption separation technology platform combined with our extensive hematological knowledge.

We began developing our apheresis technology in the latter half of the 1970s with a simple plasma exchange membrane that separates blood cells from plasma for the treatment of acute liver failure (fulminant hepatitis). In the mid-1980s we went on to develop the world’s first plasma component separator and plasma adsorption technology that could selectively adsorb and remove pathogenic substances. This progress in apheresis technology greatly expanded the variety of conditions that could be treated. With the revision of Japan’s Pharmaceutical Affairs Law in the early 1990s, the value of apheresis grew as a novel alternative therapy for intractable diseases.

We make and market a range of apheresis products used to treat more than 30 disorders covered by Japan’s national health insurance. Today our apheresis products hold the top market share both at home and abroad. This is a prime example of how the Asahi Kasei Group’s medical enterprises are creating value by finding answers to unmet medical needs.

Blood Transfusion Business

Reducing Blood Transfusion Risk and Heightening Trust in Healthcare.

Blood Transfusion Business

Our Sepacell (Leukocyte reduction filters) business grew out of the Asahi Kasei Group’s blood purification business, leveraging our state-of-the-art membrane separation and adsorption separation technology platform, developed for the Asahi Kasei Group’s hemodialysis business, combined with our extensive hematological knowledge. With the goal of enabling a safer supply of blood products for transfusion, we developed the world’s first nonwoven polyester microfiber filter that selectively adsorbs and removes white blood cells from blood. We commercialized this leukocyte reduction filter as Sepacell.

Sepacell use began in the mid 1980s to help sufferers of thalassemia, also called Mediterranean anemia, which causes a hemolytic anemia that requires frequent blood transfusions. These patients were experiencing adverse immune system reactions to leukocytes present in other people’s blood. The leukocyte reduction filter market expanded in the 1990s with rising demand in Europe for blood safety, triggered by incidents involving contaminated blood. With its excellent performance and proven efficacy, Sepacell soon dominated markets in Europe, starting with France, and expanded its success into the United States and Japan. Today, Sepacell holds the top share of the worldwide leukocyte reduction filter market. Providing the high quality and performance necessary to ensure safety and quality in blood products for transfusion, Sepacell has also been adopted by the world’s top transfusion bag maker.

Bioprocess Business

Expanding Availability of High-quality Drugs by Enhancing Safety in Biopharmaceutical Production.

Bioprocess Business

Our bioprocess business is built on the manufacturing and marketing of the world’s first cellulose filter designed specifically for virus removal in biotherapeutics. It was developed through a combination of hematological know-how and membrane separation technology leveraging the Asahi Kasei Group’s state-of-the-art technology platform.

Commercialized under the name Planova, our virus removal filters are used in the manufacture of biotherapeutics, such as biopharmaceuticals and plasma derivatives. In the early days, the business struggled to achieve profitability, but we carried on in response to the critical needs of customers and at the behest of regulatory authorities. It was not long before Planova filters became widely adopted by manufacturers of plasma derivatives and biopharmaceuticals, achieving the global reputation for excellence they enjoy to this day. With the establishment of Asahi Kasei Bioprocess, we are expanding our business as a strategic growth driver for the Asahi Kasei Group’s medical enterprises.

Top of page