Advanced Oncotherapy uses proton beam therapy to target resistant cancers

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What Advanced Oncotherapy does

Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO) is developing a state-of-the-art, affordable proton beam therapy system called LIGHT.

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 is doing

In October, the firm raised £7.7mln to strengthen its balance sheet as it prepares to make fully operational its next-generation proton beam therapy technology. It brings to a total of almost £23mln the amount raised this year to back the ground-breaking cancer treatment.

Just a month prior, Advanced Oncotherapy had received all bespoke and high precision accelerating structures for its game-changing LIGHT technology at the Cheshire facility, adding that it was expecting the delivery of further supporting equipment in line with its completion plan.

Advanced Oncotherapy expects to have a fully operational LIGHT system at Daresbury in Cheshire with beam energy, suitable to support patient treatment, during 2021. The actual treatment of patients, which is expected to occur shortly after this LIGHT machine is fully operational, remains dependent on the company’s clinical partner, University Hospital Birmingham.


What the boss says: Nicholas Serandour, chief executive

“As we highlighted at our recent investor day, despite the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic we have made strong progress with construction in Daresbury and remain on track to have a fully operational LIGHT system with a 230MeV beam, which is required to treat patients, in 2021.”


Inflexion points

  • 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

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