Advanced Oncotherapy Plc (LON:AVO) is focused on delivering a more affordable, novel, proton-based radiotherapy system, based on technology developed originally at the world-renowned CERN. Major technical milestones were achieved in 2017 and the company remains on track with its development plan. Confidence has been enhanced significantly with integration of the first three structures and overcoming the technical challenge of accelerating the proton beam. Meanwhile, construction of the Harley Street site is on schedule for completion in 1H 2018, and new financing and distribution arrangements add further to confidence about the whole project.
Strategy: To develop a compact and modular proton therapy (PT) system at an affordable price for the payor, financially attractive to the operator, and generating superior patient outcomes. AVO benefits from the technology know-how developed by ADAM, Geneva, and relies on a base of world-class suppliers.
Technical milestones: Two major milestones were delivered on time in 2017 and, with most of the modular components to complete the machine already on site in Geneva, further integration work is underway to accelerate the proton beam to its target energy level. The LIGHT project is being increasingly de-risked.
Commercialisation: Strong manufacturing partners, and Thales’ infrastructure and experience will allow mass production of a proton accelerator for the first time, in a multi-billion-dollar market. With construction progress at its Harley Street site, AVO is confident of having a LIGHT system fully tested in 2019.
Risks: The funding risk has now reduced greatly, although release of cash from the People’s Republic of China requires approval from the Government. The more complex technical challenges of the LIGHT project have been overcome, and integration of the different units follows known working prototypes.
Investment summary: Demand for PT is increasing worldwide and the need for a small, flexible, affordable and close-to-patient machine is desirable. Advanced Oncotherapy Plc has attracted strong partners and discussions with potential customers have started already. Attention is focused on the construction timetable for the flagship Harley Street site and installation of the first LIGHT system. Resolution of AVO’s financing requirements brings further assurance.