The University of Tennessee has expressed interest in becoming a potential research and academic partner in a new proton therapy center currently under construction in Dowell Springs. Legislation sought by UT and sponsored by Sen. Doug Overbey and Rep. Ryan Haynes would allow the university to pursue the development and funding of related programs and facilities by becoming the guarantor of up to $98 million of the project’s costs. UT’s participation would allow the project to directly benefit from lower interest rates, and those savings could be reinvested by the university. The project is being financed with $110 million tax-exempt bonds issued by the Knox County Industrial Development Board in November and funded by a consortium of financial institutions led by Fifth Third Bank. Details of the legislation are still being worked out with different stakeholders, but Haynes said it has the potential to be a tremendous resource for UT. “It’s a very creative and innovative way to help UT and our region become a leader in radiological services,” he said. “The method we’re using is unique.” Read the full article here.
After a four-week transoceanic voyage, a 220-ton cyclotron that will be used for cancer treatment had completed its 8,000-mile trek from Belgium to East Tennessee on Dec. 25. The cyclotron, which weighs as much as the Statue of Liberty, is a key piece of equipment used in proton therapy, which will be offered at its home in a dedicated center currently under construction in West Knoxville and affiliated with Provision Health Alliance. The arrival of the cyclotron marked a milestone for the $119 million project, which is expected to begin treating prostate cancer patients in 2014. It’s taken nearly a year of logistical planning to ensure it gets safely to its final destination in Dowell Springs.
The second half of a 220-ton cyclotron will make the 14-mile journey from Forks of the River Industrial Park in East Knoxville to Dowell Springs on Middlebrook Pike on Friday.
The medical equipment’s arrival to its final destination, a $119 million proton therapy center currently under construction, will culminate a several-week long trek from Belgium, where it was shipped by cargo boat to Knoxville. The first half was delivered Thursday. Read more here.
Proton planning: Could Knoxville become a global center for proton therapy? Local businessman Terry Douglass, who co-founded CTI Molecular Imaging, is optimistic that it can. His health care company, Provision Health Alliance, was hard at work this year on development of a $119 million proton therapy cancer center that is taking shape at Dowell Springs Business Park off Middlebrook Pike. Read more here.
A start-up manufacturing firm could get a big discount on land in exchange for investing at least $17 million and creating more than 100 high-paying jobs in West Knox County.
The Development Corporation of Knox County on Thursday approved a proposed sale of land at the Pellissippi Corporate Center to ProNova Solutions, a local firm that is gearing up to manufacture cutting-edge therapy machines used to treat cancer. Under the proposed deal, ProNova would pay $95,000 for a 9.5-acre site that has an appraised value of $950,000. Within three years of buying the property, the company would be required to invest at least $17 million in land, buildings and equipment and to create at least 135 full-time jobs with average annual pay of at least $75,000. Read full article here.
Jobs target proton center, ProNova
Plans are under way to ramp up hiring at a West Knoxville medical campus as the state’s first proton therapy center dedicated to cancer treatment nears 80 percent completion.
Provision Health Alliance, an integrated clinical outpatient health care center at Dowell Springs off Middlebrook Pike, has already nearly doubled its staff this year to about 100 employees in a variety of positions, said David Lopater, vice president of human resources and risk management.
“That was very exciting. We’re hoping to continue on this track for a while,” Lopater said. “We are beginning very serious planning as we speak. We are asking our division and business unit heads to plan their staffing needs for 2013.”
The 90,000-square-foot proton therapy center, which recently received approval for a $110 million tax-exempt bond issue by the Knox County Industrial Development Board, is slated to be operational by early 2014.
The primary staffing focus in the coming year will target the proton therapy center and the recently launched ProNova Solutions, which aims to develop and commercialize a next generation proton machine that’s less expensive and easier to use.
ProNova currently employs about a dozen individuals, and Lopater said it is expected to go through significant growth in engineering, research and development and software.
Some recent additions to the staff include Provision’s medical director of radiation oncology Dr. Allen Meek, who was founding chairman of the department of radiation oncology at Stony Brook University Medical School in New York and a professor for more than 28 years.
Steve Clapp, a former Baptist Healthcare System of East Tennessee executive who founded Restoration Healthcare, was named executive vice president of provider services, and Nancy Howard, who previously worked in the tourism sector, serves as manager of hospitality services.
Advanced Superconducting Magnets and Other Technologies
Cut Costs and Reduce Start-up Time by More Than Half Compared to Current
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — October 29, 2012 /Businesswire/ — The team that broke
the price and performance barrier with PET and PET/CT systems in the 1990s
and 2000s is working with a group of leading companies and universities to
produce a dramatically less expensive, smaller, lighter, more flexible and more
capable proton therapy system.
Click here to read the full article.
Knoxville News Sentinel—Tech 20/20 spends most of its resources on up-and-coming technology-based entrepreneurial endeavors. But a recent study done by the not-for-profit consulting group looked at how East Tennessee’s business past can help shape the region’s future. “It’s really a family tree of Knoxville start-ups,” said Tech 20/20 President John Morris. “It was really a fascinating exercise for me and a good learning experience about how local companies got their start and how they developed into their current state.” The study, called the TrepTree, traced successful local businesses back to their roots. “It (the TrepTree) can provide encouragement, business models, and connections,” said local entrepreneur Terry Douglass. Read more here.
Officials Celebrate Construction of Proton Therapy Center
After years of dreaming of bringing proton therapy treatment for cancer to East Tennessee, local businessman Terry Douglass and his team at Provision Health Alliance celebrated Friday the start of construction on a $119 million facility in Dowell Springs. Dozens of elected and community leaders gathered to mark the occasion, which Douglass said was a tribute to all involved.
“It’s not about me,” Douglass said. “It’s really about taking the gifts and the resources we’ve been given, including the team that we’ve got which is fantastic and putting something together that we can share with the community, particularly those who are in the most vulnerable position of their life, and hopefully provide them with some physical healing and spiritual healing along the way. And in doing that all you can be is thankful and blessed.”
Read more at KnoxNews.com.
MedCity News — Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH) will manage and operate the Knoxville, Tennessee, cyclotron facility of ProVision Healthcare through an agreement that expands the Dublin, Ohio, drug distributor’s ability to make molecular imaging agents nationwide. Ohio’s largest corporation has been partnering with academia and industry to push the boundaries of nuclear medicine — and have first dibs on commercializing the industry’s innovations — by using its know-how and technologies to enable researchers to come up with new products. Read more at MedCityNews.com.