Kawasaki, Japan－Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (hereinafter “Toshiba ESS”) today announced that on November 6 it signed a business alliance agreement with China-based Ion Nova (Shanghai) Medical Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Ion Nova”) for the sales of heavy ion therapy equipment*1 in China. Toshiba ESS and Ion Nova are aiming to secure an order for the first unit in the Chinese market in the near future.
Ion Nova has concluded a cooperation agreement with Shanghai APACTRON Particle Equipment Co., Ltd (hereinafter, “APTR”), the only company approved by the Chinese government to manufacture and sell proton therapy equipment made in China. Ion Nova is made up of experts in heavy ion therapy equipment, specializing in the development and marketing of this equipment. Toshiba ESS has been pushing forward with activities to win orders in China based on its advanced technology and track record in the delivery of heavy ion therapy equipment cultivated over many years. By forming a partnership with a Chinese company Ion Nova, and leveraging the expertise and networks that Ion Nova and APTR possess, Toshiba ESS is working to further step up these efforts.
In China, the number of new cancer patients has reached approximately 4.5 million (as of 2020) *2, and providing appropriate cancer treatment is a pressing national issue. Therefore, the Chinese government is working to introduce and expand the use of heavy ion therapy equipment, which places less of a burden on patients during treatment, and two heavy ion facilities are now operational in the country. Furthermore, there are plans to authorize the introduction of 41 facilities for both heavy ion and proton therapy by 2025*3.
Toshiba ESS developed its heavy ion therapy equipment alongside the National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology (QST), producing the world’s first heavy ion beam rotating gantry. This succeeded in reducing the size and weight of heavy ion therapy equipment through the use of superconducting electromagnets, and in 2016, a unit was delivered to the QST’s new treatment and research building in the Chiba area. Overseas, Toshiba ESS has also won wide acclaim for its track record and technological capabilities. One unit has been delivered to Yonsei University in South Korea, where treatment using the equipment began in April of this year. Based on these achievements, Toshiba ESS is working actively to win orders in the U.S. and other countries where the need for heavy ion therapy is increasing.
Going forward, Toshiba ESS will continue its efforts to promote the use of heavy ion therapy equipment by actively pursuing orders both in Japan and overseas, thereby helping to provide cancer treatment of the highest quality.
*1: A type of external radiation therapy in which carbon ions are accelerated to about 70% of the speed of light to produce beams of carbon ions (heavy ion beams), which are used to irradiate cancer tumors from outside the body. Heavy ion beams do not propagate easily in the body, allowing them to be focused with pinpoint accuracy on cancer tumors, and thus are less likely to damage the surrounding normal cells. In addition, these beams are characterized by their ability to destroy cancer cell genes more effectively than other types of radiation.
As such, this is considered a treatment method that places minimal physical burden on patients and allows them to return to everyday life as soon as possible.
*2: According to World Health Organization statistics
*3: As announced by the Chinese government