What is Apheresis?
- POINT 1 What is blood purification?
- POINT 2 What is apheresis?
- POINT 3 What kind of disease is Ulcerative colitis?
- POINT 4 About apheresis business
POINT1 What is blood purification?
This is a treatment method in which blood is withdrawn from the body (extracorporeal circulation), to remove pathogenic substances from blood or the balance of electrolytes by dialysis, filtration, adsorption, etc., and the purified blood is returned to the body.
POINT2 What is apheresis?
Extracorporeal circulation treatment, except for dialysis therapy, is called apheresis and it is a medical treatment mainly performed for ulcerative colitis, rheumatism, drug addiction, sepsis, fulminant hepatitis, etc.
Nikkiso has developed apheresis products targeting ulcerative colitis patients and have been selling them in Japan and in the European region.
POINT3 What kind of disease is Ulcerative colitis?
Our body provides immune functions that eliminate foreign substances to protect the body when they are recognized. Although this is called autoimmunity, this function sometimes runs out of control and attacks oneself. The disease in which this symptom specifically develops is ulcerative colitis. In Japan, about 180,000 people are suffering from this disease. It is said that there are about 10 times as many patients in Europe and United States. Although the generation mechanism of ulcerative colitis is not yet clarified, it is considered that such abnormality of the autoimmunity function is likely one of the causes. Autoimmunity attacks the large-intestinal mucosa, which causes inflammation and the mucous and bloody stool, diarrheal disease, abdominal pains, etc. Although medical treatment by steroid preparation and/or immunomodulator is performed first, there are also cases where treatment is effective, or even if symptoms temporarily improve they relapse or get worse after several months or several years, and extended care becomes necessary.
Through apheresis, it can be expected that symptoms will efficiently improve by selectively removing activated immune substances.
POINT4 About apheresis business
In recent years, diseases caused by such immune functions (autoimmune diseases) are continuously increasing worldwide. Apheresis is attracting attention mainly in Japan, and in Europe, Asia, due to its excellence in safety and therapeutic effects. Nikkiso has developed new apheresis products and started sales in Europe (2011) and in Japan (2020) . We also plan to launch them in Asia and in the United States in the future.