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Reimbursement of Cobalt-60 source used with the MultiSource® HDR afterloading system of Eckert & Zieger BEBIG in Japan

Seneffe, Belgium, March 29, 2012. Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG announced today that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has granted the reimbursement of the Cobalt-60 source which is the active component of MultiSource®, starting from April 1, 2012.

MultiSource® is a state-of-the-art afterloader of Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG designed for the entire range of HDR brachytherapy applications for cancer treatment. The system provides highest quality and optimal treatment safety, based on Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG’s 35 years of experience in accordance with German manufacturing standards. The MultiSource® afterloader is the only system worldwide which can be equipped with an Iridium-192 or Cobalt-60 source, as the customer wishes. Both sources deliver excellent clinical results.

One major advantage of the Cobalt-60 source is its cost-effectiveness due to a long half-life time of 5 years in comparison to the half-life time of Iridium-192 which is 2.5 months. The Cobalt-60 source represents the latest high-end technology for miniaturized sources on the medical device market.

HDR brachytherapy is a form of radiotherapy in which cancer is treated by irradiation from a short distance. The radioactive source is placed directly inside or close to the tumor site. This reduces the risk of damaging the surrounding healthy tissue, while providing a very high dose of localized radiation to the tumor cells.

In 2003 Japan has been the first country where the MultiSource® afterloader with a Cobalt-60 source has been marketed. Since then, encouraged by the clear advantages of the Cobalt-60 source, around 20 Japanese clinics have decided to employ the unique system. Other countries followed: Meanwhile globally more than 180 MultiSource® systems are running successfully in 35 countries. In most of the cases equipped with Cobalt-60.

Based on the decision of the MHLW, the Japanese National Health Insurance will cover 1% of the actual purchasing costs of a Cobalt-60 source used with the MultiSource® system per patient. That means that treating only 100 patients, the hospital will be able to cover the total costs of a Cobalt-60 source.

“HDR brachytherapy is a treatment option for breast- and rectal cancer which have the highest incidences of all cancers in Japan. We are very happy about the MHLW’s decision because we expect that the reimbursement of the Cobalt-60 source will lead to a broader application of Cobalt-60 HDR brachytherapy. Japan has always been one of our most important markets. The positive decision of the MHLW is a significant opportunity for us to contribute in future even stronger to the patient-centered care in Japan”, said Abel Luzuriaga, Managing Director of Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG.

Customers who are interested in further information may contact customer.support@dont-want-spam.bebig.eu or y_tani@dont-want-spam.euro-meditec.co.jp


About Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG

Contributing to saving lives!

Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG is a European-based group active in the medical device segment of the health care industry.

Its core business is the treatment of cancer using brachytherapy, a special form of radiation therapy.

Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG is a leader in brachytherapy in Europe. The company headquarters are in Belgium, with a production facility in Germany and subsidiaries throughout Europe and in India. In addition, Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG has a worldwide network of distributors and agents to support the international marketing of its product line.

The company's products and equipment are intended for use by oncologists, radiologists, urologists, and medical physicists.

Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG employs more than 150 people. The company has been listed on the NYSE Euronext Brussels stock exchange since April 1997 (Euronext: EZBG; Reuters: EZBG.BR; Bloomberg: EZBG:BB).

Claudia Mihlan
Head of Marketing

Karolin Riehle
Investor Relations
Tel.: +32 (0) 64 520 808
E-mail: ir@dont-want-spam.bebig.eu