The new LENOXe™ drug is being presented at the European Congress of anaesthesiology on 9-12th June 2007 in Munich, Germany. It is due for commercial release by the end of 2007.

LENOXe™ is based on xenon (Xe), an air gas with very interesting anaesthetic properties. The LENOXe™ offering combines a gas, special packaging and the dispensing equipment necessary for its administration.

Along with being a very effective general anaesthetic agent, LENOXe™ has the lowest solubility among all inhalational anaesthetics, which permits rapid recovery at the end of surgery. LENOXe™ is not metabolised by the human body, thus improving organ preservation. Moreover, one of the major advantages of LENOXe™, and certainly the most promising, is that it maintains cardiovascular function during anaesthesia by its ability to keep the blood pressure relatively stable and its absence of effect on contraction of the heart.

On 30th March 2007, Air Liquide was granted market approval for LENOXe™ in 12 European countries, opening the way for the product’s marketing: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. LENOXe™ is the Group’s first “therapeutic gas” to be approved by European procedure. This market approval followed an earlier authorization obtained by Air Liquide in Germany in 2005, based on a clinical file acquired together with the German activities of Messer.

Air Liquide has focussed its efforts on improving both the production process and the anaesthesia procedure, thus lowering the costs of xenon and allowing wide utilisation of this gas in clinical practices.

Medical gases, one of the main research subjects and growth sectors of Air Liquide Healthcare activities, have a variety of indications in the medical field. In 2004, Air Liquide strengthened its R&D programs in this sector. Considering the nature of these programs, market commercialisation can take several years and these efforts are expected to bear fruit after 2010.

Jean-Marc de Royere, Senior Vice-President in charge of the Healthcare World Business Line of Air Liquide, declared: The launch of LENOXe™ in the European market marks the first step in introducing our “therapeutic gases” program. We are very excited by this outcome that demonstrates our innovation and opens up a promising new field in Healthcare. Subject to the progress with our research programs, we plan to file for several other therapeutic gases in the coming years”.

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