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Asahi Kasei Corporation Develops Planova™ Virus Removal Filters with Larger Membrane Surface Area

Asahi Kasei Corporation today unveiled Planova™ virus removal filters with effective surface areas of 4.0 m² for the Planova™ 15N, 20N, and 35N filter lines. Representing a four-fold increase over the current largest effective membrane size of 1.0 m², the new 4.0 m² filters reduce the number of filters needed for a manufacturing cycle and the overall time required for filter integrity testing.

Employing a filter housing that is two-fold larger in diameter and equivalent in length to the housing of the current 1.0 m² Planova™ filters, the 4.0 m² filters can easily be integrated into existing manufacturing operations. Filter components meet the USP Biological Reactivity Test, in vivo, for Class VI plastics.

Commercial release is scheduled to begin in early December 2002.

Asahi Kasei Corporation introduced its first Planova™ filter in 1989 as the world's first filter specifically designed to remove viral material from biopharmaceutical and plasma-derived products. The Planova™ filter product family currently includes four filters, the Planova™ 15N, Planova™ 20N, Planova™ 35N, and Planova™ 75N filters, each with a respective membrane mean pore size of 15 nm, 19 nm, 35 nm and 72 nm.

Planova™ filters utilize a hollow-fiber microporous membrane composed of naturally hydrophilic cuprammonium-regenerated cellulose inside a polycarbonate housing. Each Planova™ filter is integrity tested prior to factory release, and can be integrity tested prior to and following filtration. Designed for use in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) environments, Planova™ filters are available in a range of membrane surface areas to facilitate scale-up from laboratory studies to process scale.

About Asahi Kasei Corporation
Asahi Kasei Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a US$10 billion technology company, providing innovative, science-based solutions to a diverse range of markets including chemicals and plastics, apparel, housing and construction, health care, and electronics. Asahi Kasei is one of the world's leading filter membrane manufacturers, serving a variety of markets including biopharmaceutical, medical, water treatment, and general industrial. Additional information on Asahi Kasei Corporation can be found at