June 14, 2007
Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.

Training center for therapeutic apheresis

Asahi Kasei Medical will open the Apheresis Technology Square (the A-Square), a training center for therapeutic apheresis in Tokyo, Japan, on July 2, 2007. Equipped with therapeutic apheresis devices and extracorporeal blood circulation systems, the A-Square will provide a venue for health care personnel from throughout Japan and around the world to obtain practical, hands-on training together with information on the latest therapeutic apheresis technology and products.

By providing effective training in the practice of therapeutic apheresis, the A-Square will help to maintain and improve the skills of health care personnel for the ultimate benefit of the patient. The center will play an especially key role beginning in April 2008, when a regulatory amendment limiting the entry of representatives of device manufacturers to therapeutic sites takes effect in Japan.

The A-Square will also enable mutual communication and interchange, which Asahi Kasei Medical as a world leader in the field will utilize to advance the development of safer, more effective therapeutic apheresis devices that meet the needs of health care personnel for ease-of-use.

Therapeutic apheresis is used to treat a wide range of intractable diseases such as ulcerative colitis, hepatic insufficiency, and collagenosis. 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.

Varieties of therapeutic apheresis
Leukocytapheresis (LCAP), in which leukocytes are adsorbed from the blood; used to treat ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Double filtration plasmapheresis (DFPP), in which plasma is separated from the blood and LDL cholesterol and other pathogenic substances are then removed from the plasma; used to treat familial hyperlipemia and arteriosclerosis obliterans (ASO).
Plasma adsorption (PA), in which plasma is separated from the blood and pathogenic substances are then adsorbed from the plasma; used to treat myasthenia gravis (MG), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Guillain-Barré syndrome, and hyperbilirubinemia.
Plasma exchange (PE), in which plasma is separated from the blood and replaced; used to treat fulminant hepatitis, acute hepatic insufficiency, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).
Asahi Kasei Medical corporate profile
President: Yasuyuki Yoshida
Establishment: July 1974
Paid-in capital: ¥800 million
Shareholding: 100% by Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.
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. 1,750 (as of March 31, 2007)
FY 2006 sales: ¥43.1 billion
Main products: Dialyzers, therapeutic apheresis products, leukoreduction filters for transfusion, virus removal filters


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