Biocompatibles UK, a BTG International group company, has developed the DC Bead. The intravascular embolization device contains hydrophilic microspheres made from cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol polymer and is injected through catheter into targeted blood vessels to achieve selective embolization.

In July 2009, Eisai acquired the exclusive rights from Biocompatibles UK to develop and market the DC Bead in Japan.

In April 2013, the company received manufacturing and marketing approval for the device from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for use in transcatheter arterial embolization in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

DC Bead was classified in the Special Treatment Materials category on 1 February 2014 for medical device reimbursement under Japan’s National Health Insurance system.

The company will launch the specially controlled medical device in Japan on 4 February 2014.

Following its introduction in Japan, DC Bead will be domestically available in 100-300µm, 300-500µm, and 500-700µm bead sizes so that an appropriate bead size can be selected based on vascular diameter, tumor size and extent of intended embolization in the targeted blood vessel.

Eisai said that through the launch of DC Bead in Japan, the company seeks to further enhance its liver disease product portfolio in the country as well as continue to contribute to addressing the diverse needs of, and increasing the benefits provided to, patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and their families.

DC Bead is already marketed as an effective embolization device for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and other hypervascularized tumors in over 50 countries and territories across the globe, including Europe and the US.