IBA inks Taiwan proton deal

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | October 16, 2012
Belgian cyclotron-maker Ion beam applications S.A. said Tuesday that it inked a deal with a Taiwanese hospital to deliver one of its new lower-cost, single-room proton therapy systems in the next two years.

IBA said the memorandum of understanding it signed with Changhua Christian Hospital, a 1,684-bed hospital in Changua City, a town about 116 miles southwest of Taipei, paves the way for a purchasing agreement for its Proteus One system.

IBA said they expect the agreement to be fulfilled early next year, with a delivery happening some time in 2014. Chiu Ho Medical Systems Co. is the third partner in the agreement, IBA said.

The Proteus One, introduced two years ago at an ASTRO conference in San Diego, is one of a new breed of proton systems that cost much less than traditional proton centers, which can have price tags upwards of $150 million. In an October 2011 press release announcing a deal to install the Proteus One at a center being developed by Willis-Knighton Cancer Center in Shreveport, La., IBA said the unit was valued at between $25 million and $30 million.

With shielding walls, the Proteus One measures about 49 feet by 95 feet, according to the earlier IBA announcement. The details of the Taiwan system haven't been announced, but if it's like the Louisiana one, it will include a non-superconductive cyclotron, which accelerates the cancer-scrambling particles, along with a small gantry and possibly an integrated cone-beam CT scanner.

IBA is based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

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