JERUSALEM and RENO, Nev., May 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- HIL Applied Medical Ltd. – a Jerusalem, Israel medical technology startup - has just announced the acquisition of Nanolabz Inc. - a Reno, Nevada company born out of University of Nevada, Reno research and focused on developing and fabricating smart targets for laser-based proton acceleration. HIL Applied Medical is developing a new class of ultra-compact, high-performance Proton Beam Therapy systems, based on high-intensity lasers and nano-engineered smart targetry.
"Today's announcement is important on several levels," Mr. Sagi Brink-Danan, Chief Executive Officer of HIL, said. "The acquisition immediately doubles HIL's patent portfolio, thus further fortifying our already-strong IP position in our field. It also adds strong, complimentary talent to our team, and provides a strong base for HIL's US operations. We are looking forward to working together with the Nanolabz and the University of Nevada, Reno teams towards our joint goal of building the world's first laser-based cancer proton therapy system."
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Nanolabz co-founders Dr. Jesse Adams and Mr. Steven Malekos said they are thrilled to have found a great partner for Nanolabz' technology with HIL, adding that "we are looking forward to working with HIL's world-class, committed and capable team on translating cutting-edge technology into products that will benefit cancer patients worldwide." Co-founder and president of Nanolabz, Mr. Grant Korgan, added: "It's a joy to see us reach this milestone. It is a testament to hard work and the power of positivity." Mr. Korgan suffered a major spinal cord injury in 2010, and has since become a local and global inspiration, TED-lecturer and sought-after public speaker.
University of Nevada, Reno president Dr. Marc Johnson stated that he was "pleased to see this milestone which highlights the institution's role as an internationally respected, high-impact research university."
What is Proton Therapy:
A proton beam is a form of focused radiation used to treat solid tumors. It is superior to traditional radiation therapy (X-Ray, or Photons) in that it reduces damage to surrounding healthy tissue by 2X-6X, thereby reducing toxicities and improving patient survival and quality of life. Proton therapy is used routinely for treating many types of cancer; it is FDA-cleared (510k) and reimbursed by both Federal and private insurers.
Proton Therapy's Unmet Need:
Proton beam therapy can help an estimated 300,000 cancer patients every year in the US – yet last year only 10,000 received it (that's less than 4%). Protons are arguably the most advanced form of radiation therapy – yet there are only 19 active proton-therapy centers in the US today; compare with over 2,700 traditional (X-Ray) radiation therapy centers. The main barrier to widespread adoption is the large size (football stadium) and high cost ($150-250M) of building and operating a proton therapy center. Single-room solutions are slowly being introduced by some vendors for $30-50M. The key to making protons available to every patient in every midsize hospital is a scalable, add-on, single-room solution for half the current price tag or less. HIL's technological breakthrough promises to bring about this revolution.