Proton cancer therapy firm Advanced Oncotherapy announced on Tuesday that it has signed a lease for a testing and assembly site with the UK government's science and technology facilities council (STFC).
The site at the STFC Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire is home to the UK's Accelerator Science and Technology Centre, and will become the base of operations for the AIM-traded company's next generation proton accelerator, LIGHT.
The LIGHT system is intended to treat deep-seated tumours through accelerating protons to the 230 MeV.
Nicolas Serandour, chief executive of Advanced Oncotherapy, said: "Having a facility with established infrastructure, a certified site and a huge wealth of shared knowledge in the area of accelerators allows us to quickly move forward the construction of the first commercial LIGHT system in a cost-effective way."
Building work will begin with the company aiming to have the site ready to receive system components from June onwards.
The site will see the development of the LIGHT technology ahead of its submission for regulatory approval, with the AIM-traded company targeting a first patient treatment at Harley Street in the second half of 2020.
Meanwhile, the company will continue to operate its testing facility at CERN, Geneva.
"Our Geneva testing facility will see the acceleration of protons to energies capable of treating superficial tumours by the end of Q3 this year and, using the detailed results from that process, we will construct our first fully operational system at the STFC Daresbury Laboratory," said Serandour.
STFC was a partner in the initial installation of the large hadron collider at CERN and is home to Accelerator Science and Technology Centre and Cockcroft Institute of Accelerator Science and Technology.
Susan Smith, head of STFC's Daresbury Laboratory, said: "The opportunity to work with Advanced Oncotherapy is a shining example of how the public sector can work with industry towards game-changing technologies that will have a huge impact on people's lives. It also demonstrates the potential and value to the UK industry of the UK's membership into major international research facilities, including CERN."
As of 1110 BST, Advanced Oncotherapy's shares
were down 1.92% at 51.00p.