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Integration of Bioprocess Businesses in North America

As part of a strategic program of expansion and development of its worldwide bioprocess business,* Asahi Kasei Medical will integrate its US-based Planova™ filter and bioprocess equipment businesses into a single business entity, Asahi Kasei Bioprocess, Inc., on January 1, 2010.

Context and objectives of the integration

Asahi Kasei Medical manufactures and markets Planova™ hollow-fiber virus removal filters for use in the production of biotherapeutics. Planova™ filters are supplied to North American markets via an import business division of Asahi Kasei Medical America Inc. On March 1, 2009, Asahi Kasei Medical entered the bioprocess equipment manufacturing business with the acquisition of assets of TechniKrom, Inc. by its US subsidiary Asahi Kasei TechniKrom, Inc.

Asahi Kasei TechniKrom has worked closely with Asahi Kasei Medical on the commercialization of equipment for use with the latter's bioprocess membranes, and there is broad customer overlap between the two companies' respective bioprocess product families in the US market. The integration of the US-based bioprocess filter and equipment businesses will therefore facilitate synergies in the form of increased operational efficiency and effectiveness resulting from unified sales and technical/scientific support functions. The start of integrated operations of Asahi Kasei Bioprocess will thus mark a major advance in the strategic expansion and development of the bioprocess business for Asahi Kasei Medical.

Expansion and development of the bioprocess business

In recent years, demand for biotherapeutics manufactured using biotechnology such as genetic engineering and cell culture has grown strongly, resulting in rising demand for advanced technologies that enable the safe production of high quality biotherapeutics. Planova™ hollow-fiber filters from Asahi Kasei Medical - which remove harmful viruses during biotherapeutic manufacture - are highly rated by the world's leading pharmaceutical manufacturers for their outstanding quality and performance, particularly in the area of plasma-derived therapeutics, where they have earned clear market leadership. Asahi Kasei Medical's entry to the bioprocess equipment market with subsidiary Asahi Kasei TechniKrom has further reinforced its presence within the bioprocess industry.

The integration of its North American bioprocess operations is a key facet of Asahi Kasei Medical's ongoing expansion and development of business in the growing bioprocess industry. Asahi Kasei Medical will continue to leverage the many outstanding technologies of the Asahi Kasei Group to commercialize superior products and equipment such as Planova™ BioEX, a new virus removal filter launched in June 2009 that enables the virus filtration of highconcentration protein solutions.

Profile of Asahi Kasei Bioprocess, Inc.
President: Louis J. Bellafiore
Headquarters: 1855 Elmdale Avenue, Glenview, IL 60026 USA
Employees: Approximately 50
Share structure: 100% subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.
Establishment: September 19, 2008
Operations: R&D, manufacture, and sale of bioprocess-related equipment;
import and sale of Planova™ virus removal filters; technical
and scientific service and support

* Asahi Kasei Medical's bioprocess business comprises process membranes, equipment, and systems for use in the manufacture of biotherapeutics, i.e. medicines obtained through biological processes utilizing techniques such as genetic engineering and cell culture rather than being synthesized with chemical processes. Examples of biotherapeutics include plasma derivatives and protein therapeutics such as interferon, growth hormones, erythropoietin, and monoclonal antibodies.