May 14, 2007
Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.

Integration of spinning and assembly lines in a new plant for dry-pack
polysulfone-membrane dialyzers

Asahi Kasei Medical (AM) will construct a new plant in the Okatomi district of Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan with integrated spinning and assembly lines to produce dry-pack APST polysulfone-membrane dialyzers. The new plant will raise total APST production capacity to 26 million modules/year, in line with a plan to expand capacity to 30 million modules/year by 2010.

The plant will exclusively produce a new line of dry-pack APST dialyzers, which are not pre-filled with sterilized water prior to shipment. With its smaller size and light weight, the new dry product line will enable energy conservation, easier handling, and more efficient distribution and storage. Production will utilize continuous and automated processes at a single plant integrating a hollow-fiber membrane spinning line and a module assembly line, for high productivity and consistent product quality.

Essentials of the new plant
  Site: Okatomi, Nobeoka, Miyazaki
  Groundbreaking schedule: July 2007
  Start-up schedule: September 2008
  Hollow-fiber membrane spinning capacity: 6 million modules-equivalent/year
  Dialyzer module assembly capacity: 5.5 million modules/year
  Investment: Approx. ¥7.5 billion
The market for dialyzers, also called artificial kidneys, is growing steadily in Japan and throughout the world, as the number of hemodialysis patients increases and facilities for hemodialysis therapy become increasingly available. Demand growth is particularly strong for polysulfone-membrane dialyzers, due to their exceptional performance and biocompatibility.

Japan's leading dialyzer manufacturer, AM is focused on contributing to the advancement of hemodialysis therapy through the ongoing development of superior new products and production technologies, while meeting rising worldwide demand with timely expansions of production capacity. The new plant is part of an ongoing program of R&D and capital investments to heighten the trust and satisfaction of the hemodialysis community, to advance Japan's world-leading hemodialysis technology, and ultimately contribute to the quality of life for hemodialysis patients.

The addition of the new dry APS™ product line, as with the integration of Kuraray Medical's EVOH hollow-fiber membrane product lineup, will enhance the ability to respond to the wide variety of needs in hemodialysis therapy through the provision of a broad product range. These developments will serve to reinforce the company's position as Japan's leading dialyzer maker, and accelerate the growth of its global operations.
Asahi Kasei Medical corporate profile
  President: Yasuyuki Yoshida
  Establishment: July 1974
  Paid-in capital: ¥800 million
  Shareholding: 100% by Asahi Kasei Pharma
  Head office: Tokyo, Japan
  Production facilities:
    Nobeoka - production of hollow-fiber dialyzer membrane and other products
    Oita - assembly of dialyzers and blood filters
    China - assembly of dialyzers
  Employees: Approx. 1,700 (as of March 31, 2007)
  FY 2006 sales: ¥43.1 billion
  Main products:
    Dialyzers, therapeutic apheresis products, leukoreduction filters for transfusion, virus removal filters
Dialyzer business overview
  No. of chronic dialysis patients (as of Dec. 31, 2005):
    Japan - 260 thousand (incl. peritoneal dialysis)*
    Worldwide - 1.3 million (incl. Japan)†
  Dialyzer market scale (2005):†
    Japan - 37 million modules
    Worldwide - 120 million modules
  Asahi Kasei Medical market share (2006):†
    Japan - 37% (ranked No. 1)
    Worldwide - 18% (ranked No. 2)
* According to the Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy
† Asahi Kasei Medical estimate


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