Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 346, July 1998

Issue Index

American Companies in Japan


The S.C. Johnson Polymer division of S.C. JOHNSON COMMERCIAL MARKETS, INC. has licensed Asian Pacific rights to its SGO polymer technology to TOAGOSEI CO., LTD. Applications for the continuous bulk polymerization technique covered by the agreement include coatings, adhesives, plastics, electronic materials and dispersants. Toagosei, a manufacturer of various acrylic polymers, plans to build a SGO polymer technology pilot plant and to begin market development next year. The Sturtevant, Wisconsin business and its new partner will collaborate on enhancements to the current SGO technology base. Much of that work will be conducted by the Japanese chemical company and Tokyo-headquartered JOHNSON POLYMER CORP., a joint venture between S.C. Johnson Polymer and TOYO INK MANUFACTURING CO., LTD. S.C. Johnson Commercial Markets is a S.C. JOHNSON & SON, INC. subsidiary.

The local supply of a liquid crystal polymer resin developed by E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO., INC. and marketed by that company as Zenite soon will expand. The chemical giant provided its LCP resin product and process technology to DAINIPPON INK & CHEMICALS, INC., which will start production this summer at its Komaki, Aichi prefecture factory. DIC will market the product under the Okuta trade name. DuPont Zenite 6000 and 7000 Series LCP resins are designed for applications requiring high temperature performance, retention of properties over a wide temperature range, dimensional stability, chemical resistance and strong electrical properties. Thus, they are suited for use in the automotive, electrical/electronic, fiber- optic, communications and aerospace industries.

This fall, E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO., INC.'s subsidiary will begin to market a new dry film form to manufacturers of integrated circuit packaging and high-density printed circuit boards. Within three to four years, the company, the world's biggest producer of dry film photoresists, expects local ViaLux 7081 sales to total $7.1 million. That would be equivalent to roughly 30 percent of the Japanese photodielectric materials market. Japan controls majority shares of both the IC packaging and the PCB markets. ViaLux 7081, applied by lamination, is the first generation of a new DuPont class of dielectric materials.

New on the market from SUMITOMO 3M LTD. is the 3M Heat-Resistant Adhesive Sheet 1580. The polyolefin-based adhesive tape is priced around $560 per sheet. The MINNESOTA MINING & MANUFACTURING CO. affiliate is projecting first-year sales at $714,300.

Japan will be the first country where MINNESOTA MINING & MANUFACTURING CO. markets a new substitute for ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon materials used in cleaning applications in the electronics industry. 3M HFE-7200 (hydrofluoroether) is a clear, colorless fluid that is claimed to have no ozone-depletion potential as well as other desirable environmental attributes. SUMITOMO 3M LTD. has priced the product at about $21 per pound. Given the strong anticipated demand, it believes that sales will total $7.1 million in the initial year of marketing. 3M HFE-7200 will be available in the United States before yearend.

OTSUKA PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD. is seeking from the Ministry of Health and Welfare the right to market the first kit that tests urine samples for antibodies to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). CALYPTE BIOMEDICAL CORP. developed the test, which went on the American and European markets in mid-June through Indianapolis, Indiana-based SERADYN, INC., a subsidiary of MITSUBISHI CHEMICAL CORP. Alameda, California-based Calypte awarded O-tsuka exclusive Asian marketing rights to the Calypte HIV-1 Urine EIA test in the fall of 1996. The Japanese drug firm owns 10 percent of the American developer.

A treatment for narcolepsy could be available in Japan in the future. CEPHALON, INC. gave NIPPON SHOJI KAISHA, LTD. rights to develop and market modafinil there. The drug, which the West Chester, Pennsylvania biopharmaceutical company licensed from its French developer, already is being used in certain European countries to treat the chronic, lifelong sleep disorder. The Osaka supplier of medical products will make milestone payments to Cephalon and pay royalties on sales.

CELTRIX PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. will have to find a new partner to develop and commercialize SomatoKine for the treatment of osteoporosis in Japan. YOSHITOMI PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES, INC., which took over struggling GREEN CROSS CORP. in April, recently notified the Santa Clara, California biopharmaceutical business that it intended to end the work that Green Cross had been doing with Celtrix on SomatoKine under a 1994 agreement.

Clinical trials have started in Japan of a microbubble-based ultrasound contrast agent developed by IMARX PHARMACEUTICAL CORP. The Tucson, Arizona company gave YAMANOUCHI PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD. rights to to distribute DMP 115, one of the first perfluorocarbon-based ultrasound contrast agents, throughout Asia for cardiologic and radiologic imaging applications. ImaRx will manufacture DMP 115 and supply it to the big Japanese drug company, which is calling the agent YM454. It is made up of lipid-coated microbubbles containing perfluorocarbon gas.

An exchange rate of ¥140=$1.00 was used in this report.

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