UTRECHT, the Netherlands, January 22 – Elekta (EKTA-B.ST) updated the market this morning on its latest research and development initiatives, with special focus on Atlantic, the first generation high field MRI-guided radiation therapy system. The company unveiled plans to introduce this game-changing technology in 2017 and deliver the first systems in 2018.
Niklas Savander, President and CEO, told the audience: “We are pleased with the progress we are making, closely cooperating with our clinical partners in the Atlantic consortium and our MRI technology partner Philips. We are creating a new paradigm within the field of radiation therapy and a superior approach to treating cancer. Consequently, I expect Atlantic will positively impact the treatment patients receive, the cancer centers that deliver it and the market potential for radiation therapy.”
The first commercial orders are planned to be taken in 2017 with deliveries in 2018, subject to the applicable regulatory clearances. Elekta estimates there will be 75 orders and deliveries during the ramp-up phase until 2019. This number includes the systems for the members of the consortium.
Savander anticipates that high field MRI-guided radiation therapy will be standard of care within the next 10 years. He also indicated that the price of an MRI-guided radiation therapy system will be about four times the price of Elekta’s current high-end treatment machine, Versa HD™.
Dee Mathieson, Senior Vice President, Oncology Business Line Management, outlined the many benefits that Elekta’s high field MRI-guided linear accelerator is expected to bring to clinics and cancer patients. She highlighted gentler treatment, fewer side effects with potential for better outcomes and lower costs. She added that the specification and progress of the product development places Elekta far ahead of any competing system.
Kevin Brown, Global Vice President Scientific Research, explained: “To claim millimetric accuracy, you actually need to know where the target is in real-time. High field MRI-guided RT gives us this knowledge.” He described several technical breakthroughs that the Atlantic project has already demonstrated to enable real time targeting. Brown said that many of the world’s top radiation therapy centers have expressed interest in the technology. “Over 100 hospitals have enquired about bunker specifications for the advanced technology. They were pleased to hear that they are similar to the bunker specifications of a conventional linac.”
Savander concluded saying that Elekta is currently in a significant R&D investment phase to bring advanced products and solutions to the market. “We are confident that our investments will bring improved clinical outcomes to patients, as well as better returns for our shareholders.”