Advanced Oncotherapy (LON:AVO) goal is to deliver an affordable and novel proton beam therapy system (PBT), based on state-of-the-art technology developed originally at the world-renowned CERN. 2018 was characterised by the achievement of a number of technical milestones, the successful integration of all the module types that constitute the LIGHT accelerator, and the acceleration of the proton beam to an energy of 52MeV, sufficient to treat superficial tumours. Meanwhile, AVO has started to gear up its commercial infrastructure through the recruitment of a Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) with experience in PBT solutions.
Strategy: AVO is developing a compact and modular 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.
Senior management appointment: In preparation for the commercialisation of LIGHT, AVO has appointed Moataz Karmalawy as CCO, and President for its US operations. Previously, he was General Manager worldwide for Particle Therapy Treatment at Varian Medical, a global leader and ranked #2 in PBT.
Rationale: Given his experience at Varian, and Philips Medical, Moataz will provide AVO with a wealth of knowledge in the commercialisation of PBT solutions. This appointment is a major coup for Advanced Oncotherapy and provides a considerable vote of confidence in LIGHT’s attractive proposition.
Risks: In 2018, the more complex technical challenges were overcome and progress towards a fully functional accelerator is underway in preparation for CE marking. Execution risk remains; however, establishment of an innovative financing package for providing LIGHT to potential customers has lowered this risk.
Investment summary: Demand for PBT is increasing worldwide, and the need for a small, flexible, affordable and close-to-patient system is desirable. With LIGHT, AVO is aiming to provide customers with a fully integrated PBT solution. AVO’s market capitalisation of £78m equates only to the amount of money invested into LIGHT to date, which does not reflect either the enormous technical challenges that have been overcome, or the large market potential.