Developing a smaller, more affordable proton beam therapy system called LIGHT
First patient set to be treated at Harley Street building next year
Technology-based on work by ADAM, a spin-off of CERN
What Advanced Oncotherapy does:
The technology is based on work by ADAM, which AVO bought in 2013 from CERN – the particle physics lab that built the Hadron collider.
The major plus point of proton therapy is that it can pinpoint tumours more precisely, which means less damage to surrounding healthy tissues.
Proton therapy facilities have traditionally been pricey and large, requiring a space the size of a football pitch to run.
But AVO thinks it has solved that problem, and LIGHT is being built to fit in the basement of a townhouse in Harley Street, central London.
Its modular design, lighter weight and better proton efficiency also help to keep costs down, which should open proton therapy up to many more patients.
How it’s doing
In June, AVO announced a new strategic funding partnership and debt facility.
The funding, which totals roughly £42mln, will go towards the development of the LIGHT system and manufacturer of up to 30 LIGHT systems.
The company has entered into a €20mln unsecured loan agreement with VDL Participatie, a member of VDL Groep, an industrial family-owned group of companies that manufactures kit used in the Advanced Oncotherapy's LIGHT System.
It has also entered into an interest-bearing secured convertible facility with Nerano Pharma, a financing vehicle wholly owned by existing Advanced Oncotherapy shareholder Seamus Mulligan, for up to US$30mln.
In February, AVO said it had selected The London Clinic to staff and run a second proton beam facility.
The two companies have signed an outline deal called a memorandum of understanding under which AVO will lease part of The London Clinic's premises to install the treatment room.
A profit-sharing agreement has been put in place, although full commercial details were not revealed.
What the boss says: Nicholas Serandour, chief executive
"Because our LIGHT system has been designed to significantly reduce the treatment cost of patient and it can be installed in small to mid-size health care centres throughout the country, every patient ought to benefit from a proton therapy centre in their vicinity which is expected to drive patients’ demand for this treatment."
- Construction of the first centre in Harley Street is completed
- Treatment of the first patient in 2021
- AVO predicts 9,000 additional treatment rooms will be needed by 2040