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Advanced Oncotherapy secures more than £12mln of additional funding

The company has agreed a debt and equity package that will support continued work to develop its proton beam technology
Harley Street sign
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

Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO) has secured more than £12mln additional funding to support ongoing work on a next-generation proton beam system.

Credit Suisse has provided £10mln of debt for two years with an annual coupon of 2% above LIBOR (the lending rate between London banks). And additional £2.345mln has come via a share subscription with mainly Swiss institutions taking stock in the group at 40p. That’s a modest discount to Thursday’s closing price.

"The strengthening of our balance sheet during 2018 and early 2019 has placed us in a stronger position to secure additional non-dilutive funding at attractive financial terms,” said chief executive Nicolas Serandour.

Advanced Oncotherapy is developing a state-of-the art, affordable proton beam therapy system called LIGHT.

Technology developed by CERN

The technology is based on work by ADAM, which the company bought in 2013 from CERN, the world’s largest 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 helps to keep costs down, which should open proton therapy up to many more patients.

"We are moving forward well with our plans to install the first working LIGHT system at the STFC facility at Daresbury, with the integration of additional accelerating modules to allow high energy testing and ultimately regulatory approval," CEO Serandour said.

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