Accuray inks research deal with German university

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | March 30, 2012
CyberKnife-maker Accuray Inc. said Friday it signed a multi-year research agreement with the University of Heidelberg, a Germany university which runs a 2,000-bed research hospital.

The university has a long relationship with TomoTherapy, which Accuray bought last year, and installed the first of that company's CT-guided linacs in Germany in 2006 on its Heidelberg campus, Accuray said. A second TomoTherapy unit was installed two years ago, and together the systems treat about 700 patients a year, or 20 percent of all patients treated by the hospital's radiation oncology department.

"We have a long history using TomoTherapy technologies and have seen the benefits they offer cancer patients, so we are eager to explore further scientific advancements together," Dr. Jurgen Debus, director of the radiation oncology department, said in a statement.

In its press release, Accuray suggested that the new relationship was made possible, in part, because of Siemens Healthcare's exit from the linear accelerator business last year. Siemens and the university had a "longstanding collaboration arrangement," Accuray said, for radiology and radiation oncology. Now, while the university will still collaborate with Siemens on imaging research, Accuray has become its "therapeutic radiation...partner," the company said.

Earlier this year, Accuray and Siemens also updated their two-year-old strategic alliance, letting Siemens sell TomoTherapy equipment.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Accuray's worldwide installation base for its CyberKnife and TomoTherapy units is 616, according to the release.

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