• Eitan Bienstock

The Cancer killer app: Laser-based Proton Beam Therapy

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

Discover the Next… Startup

We are used to having availability and immediate access to endless apps on our phones. What if I told you that only 3-5% of cancer patients that desperately need access to the most accurate radiotherapy treatment can actually get it? Well, you probably wouldn’t believe me and ask me why. The reason is that this “app” or rather equipment doesn’t fit in our pocket. Far from it, it actually takes the space of a four story building the size of a tennis court and the weight of a jumbo jet. Consequently, it costs a fortune, it's complicated to operate and, as a result, there are only 86 facilities offering that treatment around the world with none in Australia or in Israel.

Surprisingly, that technology is proven and available since World War II. It is called Proton Beam Therapy and like many legacy systems has not changed much since. That however is going to change once the team at HIL Applied Medical led by Sagi Brik-Danan finishes the development of their groundbreaking ultra-compact, high-performance system.

The technology was conceived and incubated at the high-energy physics lab of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and further developed by HIL’s outstanding team of world-renowned scientists.

Based on Nobel Prize winning laser technology (physics 2018) and backed by over 40 patents and applications, HIL is using 21st century technologies including a patented approach to particle acceleration and beam delivery, combining nano-technology with ultra-high-intensity lasers and advanced magnetics.

A proton beam is a form of focused radiation used to treat solid tumors. Compering to traditional radiation therapy (Gamma/X-Rays) proton therapy reduces the damage to surrounding healthy tissue by 2-6 fold, thereby improving patient survival and quality of life. For example, protons may reduce the lifetime risk of secondary cancer in children by 92%, compared to X-rays. PT is used routinely around the world for treating dozens of cancer types, has been FDA-cleared (510k) for 30 years.

HIL development would increase Proton Beam Laser Therapy availability by 20 fold to 1 million patients worldwide. HIL’s technology is estimated to cost one third of its competitors. At this cost level, with existing US reimbursement, proton therapy can become a profit-center to a hospital within 3-4 years. The market potential is estimated to be over $2B per year.

HIL is about 2 years from running beta tests in hospitals and already have hospitals around the world waiting to receive their first machines.

Interested to know more about HIL Applied Medical? contact me.


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