July 15, 2008
Asahi Kasei Corporation

Launch of Advanced Medical Device Business
- Strategic alliance with Medtronic Japan -
Asahi Kasei and Medtronic Japan Co., Ltd. have concluded an agreement granting Asahi Kasei exclusive rights in Japan to the sale of Medtronic Japan's Reveal® DX insertable cardiac monitor, for which regulatory approval was obtained on July 11, 2008.

Sale of the Reveal® DX will mark Asahi Kasei's entry into the field of advanced medical devices, including convergent medical devices* and implantable medical devices. Asahi Kasei and Medtronic Japan are advancing discussions on the prospects for expansion of their strategic alliance to include other products and technologies.

Medical devices operations are marked as a focus for growth in the Asahi Kasei Group's Growth Action – 2010 strategic management initiative. The Group's established medical devices operations are being expanded dynamically, centered on the fields of hemodialysis and therapeutic apheresis.

As a new avenue for growth to complement that of Asahi Kasei's established operations, the new business in advanced medical devices enjoys great potential. Minimally invasive devices and implantable devices account for over half of the global medical device market, estimated at some ¥20 trillion. Many convergent devices have been developed, including drug-eluting stents, insulin pumps, and capsule endoscopes. Further development and widespread use of such devices is forecast to expand rapidly.

The new business will be operated by Asahi Kasei's Advanced Medical Device Center, organized in June 2007 as part of New Business Development. The Center has studied a wide range of opportunities for entry into the field of advanced medical devices utilizing a combination of Asahi Kasei Group technology and know-how in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electronic materials, and electronic devices. At the same time, Medtronic Japan sought a strategic partner which would help it further expand operations based on an alliance of complementary strengths. Having concluded the agreement for Reveal® DX, the two companies are now studying the inclusion of forthcoming Reveal® series products in their alliance, and are also exploring a wide range of possibilities to expand the alliance in other areas.
About the Reveal® DX insertable cardiac monitor
The Reveal® DX is used to help identify the cause of unexplained fainting spells. If unexplained fainting spells occur, a Reveal® DX can be inserted under the skin in the upper chest. Once thus implanted, it precisely records the electrical activity of the heart. After another fainting spell, the doctor can retrieve electrocardiogram data from the Reveal® DX and determine whether or not the cause of the fainting is related to an irregular heartbeat. It is estimated that some 200,000 people per year are taken to the hospital after fainting spells in Japan, with the cause of the fainting unexplained in 20-30% of cases.
* Medical devices developed and manufactured based on a convergence of diverse technologies such as medicine, electronics, and information & communication.
Reveal® is a registered trademark of Medtronic, Inc.


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