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Asahi Kasei completes new filter-assembly plant in Japan

| By Mary Bailey

Asahi Kasei Corp. (Tokyo) announced that Asahi Kasei Medical has completed the construction of its third assembly plant for Planova virus-removal filters in Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan, and held its completion ceremony on May 24, 2024.

The bioprocess business of Asahi Kasei Medical comprises Planova virus-removal filters and equipment used in the manufacturing process of biotherapeutic products such as biopharmaceuticals and plasma derivatives, biosafety testing services, and biopharmaceutical CDMO operations. It is one of the Asahi Kasei Group’s businesses to drive future growth.

virus-removal filters

Planova S20N (left), Planova BioEX (right)
(Photo source: Asahi Kasei)

Planova cellulose hollow-fiber membrane filters, developed specifically for removing viruses from biotherapeutic products, were launched in 1989, followed by Planova BioEX hydrophilic PVDF hollow-fiber membrane filters in 2009. Both product lines have earned wide recognition among pharmaceutical manufacturers for their outstanding contribution to the safety of biopharmaceuticals, and their adoption has expanded worldwide. A next-generation line of cellulose hollow-fiber membrane filters, Planova S20N, was launched in 2022 featuring robust virus removal capability and simplified operation, and has been highly regarded among customers.

With heightened standards throughout the world for the viral safety of biotherapeutics and advances in the development of monoclonal antibodies and other biopharmaceuticals, global demand for virus removal filters is expected to continue growing. To further ensure stable supply, Asahi Kasei Medical has been proactively expanding production capacity for Planova including the 2019 completion of a new spinning plant for Planova in Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan, and the 2021 decision to expand its spinning plant for Planova BioEX filters in Oita, Japan, in addition to the assembly plant completion announced.