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September 17, 2009
Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical Co., Ltd.

Therapeutic Apheresis

Construction of new plant for therapeutic apheresis devices

Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical will construct a new plant in Oita, Japan, for the manufacture of therapeutic apheresis devices. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant was held today.

Production equipment currently in use, located in several separate production sections within the existing plant, will be transferred to the new plant and incorporated into integrated production lines featuring the latest technology. By achieving greater efficiency and productivity, the new plant will provide a firm base for the expansion of operations, including the addition of new products, as markets for therapeutic apheresis devices continue to grow around the world.

Overview of the new plant

Location: Oita (Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical plant grounds)
Products: Plasmaflo™ separator for plasmapheresis, Excelflo™ filter for continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), Cellsorba™ leukocytapheresis column, and other therapeutic apheresis devices
Investment: ≈¥1.9 billion
Construction schedule: Construction of building from September 2009 to March 2010, transfer of production equipment from April 2010 to March 2011

Therapeutic apheresis is used to treat a wide range of intractable diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and hepatic insufficiency. Blood is drawn from a patient and circulated through a medical device which removes pathogenic substances by separation or adsorption; the treated blood is then returned to the patient. In many cases where there is no safe and effective drug, or where drug side effects are contraindicative, therapeutic apheresis may be the only available treatment.

Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical is the world’s leading producer of devices and systems for therapeutic apheresis, including the Plasmaflo™ hollow-fiber separator for plasmapheresis and the Immusorba™ plasma component absorption column, utilizing its leading technologies of membrane separation and selective absorption. Its effort to advance the development of high-performance blood purification systems includes working in coordination with front-line health care personnel to improve usability and to help heighten therapeutic skills.

While fulfilling its responsibility for reliable quality and stable supply of existing products, Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical will continue to advance the development of innovative therapeutic apheresis devices to open new possibilities for the treatment of immune system disorders and other intractable diseases.

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