Provision grows proton therapy in China


China is excited about proton therapy and for good reason.

Officially, 3.5 million Chinese per year are diagnosed with cancer. And 2.2 million people die of cancer, according to the World Health Organization. In the U.S., 70 percent of those with cancer survive five years after treatment. In China, just 30 percent survive to their five-year anniversary. Treatment is hard to come by—there is less than one conventional radiation therapy machine per million people in China compared to more than 12 machines per million in the U.S., for example. And in China diagnosis often happens too late.

A new joint venture between Provision Healthcare and Chinese pharmaceutical company Shenzhen Neptunus Bioengineering aims to change the grim statistics. With Neptunus’s contacts across the large country, Provision China stands poised to launch a unique kind of cancer care.

“Neptunus has the whole healthcare industry chain covered from pharmaceutical development, manufacturing, wholesale and retail,” said Dr. Liu Zhanjun, CEO and Director of Neptunus Bioengineering. “By taking advantage of its extensive experience in the cancer care industry and the strong relationships with hospitals and healthcare groups in China, together with Provision’s world-class ProNova SC360 proton therapy equipment and rich experience in operating successful proton therapy centers in the United States, I believe the collaboration between Provision Healthcare and Neptunus will exert significant influence in quickly developing and making proton therapy accessible in China.”

There’s nothing if not plenty of room to grow.

“There are 1,300 hospitals with 1,000 beds or more in China,” says Terry Douglass, Provision Healthcare’s founder, chairman and CEO. “The need is enormous and, with just one proton therapy center operating in the country, the opportunity is tremendous.”

China’s need for more comprehensive cancer care creates an environment uniquely suited to what Provision has to offer—complete cancer treatment campuses offering proton therapy as well as conventional radiation and chemotherapy and oncological cancer care.

“Other companies are simply trying to sell equipment in China,” says Douglass. “But Provision offers them a real solution that takes the standard of healthcare to a whole new level.”

The agreement also includes a $25 million investment in Provision, with Neptunus joining the deal as funding partners. The funds will help Provision continue to pursue its strategy of developing proton therapy and cancer centers utilizing Provision’s proton therapy system, built through its ProNova division, as well as its unique model based on highest quality medical outcomes and patient-centered care.

Signing ceremony in China on June 3, 2016.