Air Liquide was granted approval to market pharmaceutical product xenon for anesthesia in Germany.

This approval is the key step in the growth strategy of the pharmaceutical activity of Air Liquide.

The approval of the new medical application provides Air Liquide the opportunity to grow in the medical market. Millions of surgical procedures are performed (using general and local anesthetics) every year and therefore the medical market offers great potential for the company.

Xenon for anesthesia is planned to accelerate the further development of xenon applications for patient groups such as pregnant women and small children, for whom there are only a small number of authorised anesthetics available today.

Xenon is colourless and odourless rare gas. It is an extremely minute element of atmospheric air and its therapeutic effects were first noted in 1951. Thanks to its pharmaceutical properties, anesthetists consider xenon an ideal anesthetic with minimal side effects. Indeed numerous studies on patients in selected German and European clinics have been performed since 1998; they proved xenon is absorbed via the respiratory tract and does not affect the metabolism of a patient in any way. Furthermore, xenon has a very strong analgesic effect. Waking up and recovery of a patient following medical surgery can thus be achieved more easily and rapidly.

The new medical product will be launched in all those countries where Air Liquide Healthcare is present.