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 April, AVO raised £15mln through a direct subscription with new and existing shareholders.
Advanced Oncotherapy said work on its first proton beam therapy site in Harley Street had been halted due to coronavirus restrictions, but it will use the money raised to get regulatory approval of its novel technology.
As a result of the virus disruption, however, it now expects the first person to be treated in 2021 rather than at the end of this year.
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