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Eckert & Ziegler: IsoCord® Receives Insurance Refund Authorization for France

Berlin, 26 September 2006. The IsoCord® implant from Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG (ISIN DE0005659700), a product for treating early-stage prostate cancer, has been included in the catalogue of refundable health products and services in France as of 25 September 2006. IsoCord® consists of weakly radioactive titanium capsules just a few millimeters in length, which are used for seed implantation therapy to treat prostate cancer. These implants are especially easy to handle, which means that the corresponding operations are simpler, shorter and safer. Also known as seed brachytherapy, this treatment features shorter hospital stays and considerably lower incontinence and impotence rates than classical surgical procedures. Long-term studies in the USA, where this therapy is well established, show that its actual cancer treatment rates are as good as or more effective than the classical procedures.

"France has traditionally been the largest European market for brachytherapy," explained Dr. Edgar Löffler, the Eckert & Ziegler AG board member in charge of therapy. "Now that insurance companies will refund the costs for IsoCord® therapy, we will be able to further consolidate our leading position on the market for prostate seeds in France." Approximately 28,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in France every year. Thus far, the majority of these patients have undergone operations, which eliminates the cancer but often causes side effects. By contrast, IsoCord® treatment entails implanting tiny capsules into the tumor with a needle, which is a minimally invasive procedure and has fewer side effects. Moreover, this method does not require any follow-up procedures or rehabilitation programs, which means that it is comparatively less expensive.

Around 135,000 new diagnoses are made in Europe every year. In the USA, seeds are already used to treat around one third of all prostate cancer patients. For a partial list of centers that provide this therapy in Europe, see www.bebig.de. In Germany, in-patient seed brachytherapy has been included in the insurance companies' catalogue of refundable procedures since January of 2004.

Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG is a subsidiary of Eckert & Ziegler AG (ISIN DE 0005659700), which is listed on the stock exchange. It is the only complete provider in the brachytherapy sector that supports all treatment systems.

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