ProTom International is set to build a manufacturing hub in South Australia to assemble and test its cancer-fighting Radiance 330 Proton Therapy System.

The new ProTom Asia Pacific Centre of Excellence for Proton Therapy will be based at the Tonsley Innovation Hub in the South Australian capital Adelaide, and will assemble medical devices to be exported throughout Asia.

Due for completion in 2019, the center will conduct initial testing for the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

SAHMRI will house Australia’s first proton therapy unit within the Adelaide BioMed City precinct. The unit will have the capacity to treat up to 800 cancer patients a year.

The ProTom centre will employ about 100 staff and will also provide teaching and training facilities for local and international personnel.

ProTom has bases in Texas and Massachusetts in the United States. CEO Stephen Spotts said the centre in Adelaide would create opportunities for research collaboration with local universities.

“Engineers and tradespeople skilled in knowledge-intensive sectors like aerospace, defence and automotive are what we’re looking for and we’re thrilled by the level of talent in South Australia,” he said.

South Australia has become a hub for the defence and space industries as its automotive industry transitioned into advanced manufacturing with the closure of the General Motors Holden plant.

Tonsley is Australia’s first innovation hub and is home to 1200 staff from more than 30 businesses including Siemens, SAGE Automation, Micro-X and the recently opened Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub.

Proton therapy is a type of radiation treatment that precisely targets tumours. It enables radiation oncologists to destroy tumours while sparing normal healthy tissue, reducing side effects and improving long-term outcomes for patients.

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