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Eckert & Ziegler Receives Authorization to Produce Prostate Cancer Tracer

Berlin, 20 February 2006. Eckert & Ziegler AG (ISIN DE0005659700), a specialist for cancer treatment products, has received authorization to produce a new prostate cancer tracer at its radiopharmaceutical production site in Berlin-Adlershof from the relevant authorizing body, namely the Landesamt für Arbeitsschutz, Gesundheitsschutz und technische Sicherheit Berlin (Berlin State Office for Industrial Safety, Health Protection, and Technical Security). This radiopharmaceutical product is known as [18F]-fluorethylcholin, and traces even small masses of tumor cells very precisely and sensitively with the help of a special imaging process known as Positron Emission Tomography (PET). A major advantage of these PET scans is that patients need not undergo invasive surgical biopsies.

"It is especially important to diagnose prostate cancer early and accurately, because curative treatment is only possible if the tumor has not yet moved beyond the organ itself," explained Dr. Andreas Hey, who heads the radiopharmacology division at Eckert & Ziegler. "The advantages of the process and the high incidence of prostate cancer have led to a veritable boom throughout Europe in clinical tests for diagnosis and therapy follow-up using F18-cholin. We are therefore placing a high priority on producing F18-cholin in our new Berlin cyclotron association, and we intend to add a number of additional generic radiopharmaceutical products for PET scans to our product range over the coming quarters. Although PET scans are not yet as common in Germany as they are in other industrialized countries, recent decisions by the steering committees of state health insurance organizations suggest that the country is starting to catch up."

Positron Emission Tomography. Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan) systems are large, modern, diagnostic machines that perform high-resolution, full-body imaging on a biochemical basis. They can show small traces of malignant tumor growth, and provide precise anatomical locations in conjunction with computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. A special advantage for prostate cancer patients is that the entire body can be routinely examined in a single session, which eliminates the need for multiple procedures and reduces the amount of time required. Prostate carcinomas are the most prevalent type of tumor among men in Germany.

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