Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO) said it has reached an important landmark following the completion of structural work at Harley Street, central London, site of its next-generation proton beam therapy system.
The £10mln of refurbishment costs have been borne by the landlord, The Howard de Walden Estate, which owns and manages a large portfolio of rental properties in Marylebone.
AVO will now move onto the fit-out phase, which includes the installation of the company’s revolutionary LIGHT system, which is smaller than conventional proton beam technology and modular in build.
With significantly lower shielding requirements, it is ideally suited for areas of high population density or existing clinical sites, the company said.
“Once operational this centre is expected to be the world's first-ever centrally located, lifesaving proton therapy centre, in what was originally a residential dwelling,” said AVO chief executive Nicolas Serandour.
"Today's news brings us one step closer to delivering on this, and we are hugely grateful for the refurbishment work committed to by the Howard de Walden Estate and which has been delivered on time and to budget."
The technology is based on work by ADAM, which AVO bought in 2013 from CERN – the world’s largest particle physics lab that built the Hadron collider.
The major plus point of proton therapy for cancer is that it can pinpoint tumours more precisely than traditional radiation treatment, 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 the Harley Street townhouse.
The first patient is expected to be treated next year.
The shares rose 2% to 39.3p.
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