Billionaire investment to expand cancer balloon tech around UK
A company which develops cancer-fighting balloons is planning expand its presence in the UK.
Israeli company BioProtect develops bioabsorbable polymer spacer balloons which improve outcomes in radiotherapy and oncology as well as general surgery.
Every year, more than 1.1 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer worldwide and approximately 400,000 will undergo prostate radiotherapy. Historically prostate radiation therapy was limited by concerns over risk of rectal toxicity following radiotherapy.
The ProSpace balloon spacer helps reduction of radiation therapy risks by pushing the prostate away from adjacent organ at risk, the rectum. Once injected with saline, the spacer offers physicians a consistent gap of over 1.5cm, which is visible under CT.
The spacer remains stable during radiation therapy and is gradually absorbed after radiation therapy is completed.
The Rutherford Cancer Centre in South Wales has been using BioProtect’s spacer balloons since April 2018, offering them to all prostate cancer patients including patients undergoing high energy proton beam therapy.
The centre was the very first in the UK to offer high energy proton beam therapy and, with its national network, it is the UK’s leading provider of the treatment. Sixty of the balloons have been used there to date.
Following $13 million in funding, including $7m from UK billionaire Vincent Tchenguiz, this could now be expanded to other facilities in the UK.
Dr Assaf Dekel, chairman of BioProtect, told BusinessCloud: “We are thinking of expanding our presence in the UK as we regard it as a key market.
“We are also planning to add UK sites for our pivotal ongoing FDA study which is running in USA and Europe in parallel.”