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History

Meeting the healthcare needs of society by delivering new value through the operational strength of the Asahi Kasei Group

Turning Technology into Business to Meet the Needs of the Age

From the time of our founding in 1922, the Asahi Kasei Group has been creating new value to meet the needs of society. In 1974 we began medical-related product operations with the establishment of Asahi Medical. Over the years, we have developed new medical devices and therapeutic technologies and made advances in biopharmaceutical and plasma derivative process engineering through a high-level synergy of our core filtration and separation technologies using membranes, filters and adsorbents together with wide-ranging knowledge and technological expertise in science, mechanical engineering and medical fields. Building on our achievements of establishing innovative therapies and contributing to enhancing public trust in healthcare, the expansion of our medical enterprises is a strategic pillar of the Asahi Kasei Group’s growth strategy for the future.

Over the years, we have developed our business to deliver timely solutions that better meet the real healthcare needs of patients, their families, medical professionals and society by focusing the resources of the Asahi Kasei Group and through alliances with other companies.

Today, we are developing new medical enterprises by leveraging our vast expertise and resources focused on contributing to health and comfort in a society that provides fair access to healthcare of a high standard for everyone around the world.

History

STAGE I

Commercialized Artificial Kidney and Established Asahi Medical

Asahi Medical Co., Ltd. was established in 1974. Manufacturing of Japan’s first cellulose hollow fiber dialyzer (artificial kidney) begins.

STAGE II

Innovative Product Development

Using our membrane technology, we developed membrane filter technology with improved selective separation performance for new blood purification therapies. In just more than a decade, we developed and began marketing a number of unique and innovative medical devices, systems and services for a wide range of medical blood processing applications. These included an ascites filtration and reinfusion system (1977), an adsorption blood purification device (1979), a membrane type plasma separator (1981), a blood filtration device (1983), a membrane type plasma component separator (1984), a plasma purification device (1984), a selective plasma component adsorption device (1981), and a continuous slow hemofiltration device (1990).

We also expanded into the area of blood transfusion to raise safety and quality of blood products, against the background of social concern over HIV and other viral contamination. We commercialized a leukocyte reduction filter for blood products (1985 outside Japan; 1988 in Japan) and bioprocess virus removal filters for biopharmaceutical manufacturing (1989), which we developed through the application of our fiber technology and adsorption/filtration separation technology, such as polyester ultra-fine fiber nonwoven material and cellulose nanoporous hollow fiber membranes.

continues

STAGE III

Expanding Mass-production and Business Growth

Development of a high-performance polysulfone hollow fiber dialyzer (APS) with outstanding sieving characteristics and biocompatibility.
In 1991 we increased our capitalization from 400 million yen to 800 million yen. From around 2000 we have been expanding our production capacity with construction of a new plant for Sepacell leukocyte reduction filters (1999), increased production of APS (2001), and construction of an APS assembly plant in Hangzhou, China (2005).

We have been building our business structure to enable us to make our healthcare products and services more widely available. Actions taken for this purpose include transfer of the sales and marketing functions of the hemodialyzer operations of Terumo Corporation to Asahi Medical (2002), our merger with Asahi Emers Co., Ltd. (2003), and integration of the personnel and resources of hemodialyzer operations of Kuraray Medical Inc. (2007).
Moreover, to enhance our ability to enter and serve global markets, we have also been expanding our overseas network, including an Italian branch of Asahi Medical GmbH in Rome (2002), Asahi Kasei Medical Trading (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd. (2003), Asahi Kasei Medical America Inc. in Chicago (2004), and establishment of Asahi Kasei TechniKrom, Inc. in the U.S.A. (2009).

In addition, we are achieving landmark expansion of treatment and health insurance applicability for apheresis therapy, including leukocytapheresis for conditions such as ulcerative colitis (2001) and rheumatoid arthritis (2004).

continues

STAGE IV

Reorganization for Greater Growth

To help foster widespread use of blood purification therapy and strengthen collaboration between industry and academia we established Apheresis Technology Square, a training center for therapeutic apheresis, in Tokyo (2007) and TWIns Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical Lab in Tokyo (2008).

Major developments over the past decade

2003
Asahi Kasei Group reorganized into a holding company and core operating companies
2004
Asahi Medical Co., Ltd. company name changed to Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.
2005
Planova business division (now Bioprocess business division) transferred from Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. to Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.
2007
Asahi Kasei Medical Trading (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd. established
Divided into two independent corporations: Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical Co., Ltd., and Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.
2008
Asahi Kasei Medical Trading (Taiwan) Co., Ltd. established
Headquarters moved to Jinbocho Mitsui Building
Asahi Kasei Medical Trading (Korea) Co., Ltd. established
2009
NxStage Medical, Inc. (U.S.A.) business alliance established
Med-Tech Inc. made a wholly owned subsidiary
2010
New assembly plant for Planova virus removal filters built (Oita, Japan)
Asahi Kasei TechniKrom, Inc. company name changed to Asahi Kasei Bioprocess, Inc.
2012
Integration of Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical Co., Ltd. and Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.
2013
Asahi Kasei Medical MT Corp. established.

STAGE V

New strategic growth initiative for global expansion launched

Leveraging the management resources of the Asahi Kasei Group to execute a dynamic strategy for growth, the Asahi Kasei Group has launched a new initiative for expansion of our globally competitive businesses that draws together fundamental technologies, R&D, manufacturing and capital strength. Medical enterprises will play a central role in this expansion.

To respond to global social needs in a timely manner, we will expand operations in fields related to the environment & energy, residential living, and health care.

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