PMB wants to revive the radiotherapy industry from Provence

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PMB wants to revive the radiotherapy industry from Provence
Marc Delmas, CEO of the PMB company based in Peynier (South of France)
17 March 2022 / Grow your business, invest in provence, Medical Technologies

Growth, innovation and plans to expand in the South of France

PMB, which specializes in particle accelerators for industrial and therapeutic applications, has been involved in nuclear medicine since 2012. The company, based in Peynier, near Aix-en-Provence in the South of France, will invest €2.5 million to expand its offices and workshops for testing on its particle accelerator dedicated to treating tumors. Called FLASHKNiFE®, it is the only medical system of its kind in the world. The goal is to enable Europe to revive the radiotherapy industry by manufacturing medical systems in France again. Provence Promotion is supporting the company with RisingSud on all these issues, from innovation subsidies to supporting the site expansion.

PMB is the exclusive supplier of the X-ray tube envelopes used in scanners, producing 20,000 units per year. It also designs and manufactures high-tech components and systems for the medical, research and industrial fields. Some 90% of its output is exported, with the United States alone absorbing nearly half of all shipments.

A pioneer in FLASH radiotherapy, which delivers radiation to cancerous tumors without side effects on the surrounding healthy cells, PMB is currently developing its first clinical trials in partnership with the University Hospital at Lausanne. "Traditional radiotherapy amounts to about 40 sessions with side effects. A single FLASH treatment reduces toxicity by 30%. This will be the first device in the world to be used intraoperatively," exclaims PMB's CEO, Marc Delmas.

In 2023, the Timone hospital is also expected to receive a machine for clinical trials. Such a system would enable France to resume manufacturing radiotherapy equipment. It is expected to double sales at the company, which is already experiencing unprecedented growth. "We went from €15 to €30 million between 2006 and 2021, spending 15% to 20% per year on R&D. We are betting on innovation and want to strengthen our ties to the academic ecosystem, universities and prestigious institutions to attract young engineering graduates to our company. We are counting on the pleasant environment of Provence to attract highly sought-after profiles," stresses Marc Delmas.

An 86,000 ft² site in 2023

"I have been on trade missions to Japan and the United States with the Provence Promotion economic development agency. It is fostering the emergence of an ecosystem of start-ups and attracting investors, while giving us the ability to find assistance to finance our projects. We are supported by the Eurobiomed cluster which, by recognizing innovative projects, enhances the project and makes it easier to get grants," the business leader notes. Today, the 64,000 ft2 site in which the company has invested €20 million since 2013 has become too small. "At the end of 2022, we will start a 21,000 ft2 extension to build a bunker in which we will test particle accelerators," says Marc Delmas, who plans to hire 100 more people when the construction project is completed.

Ten years ago, back in 2012, the small business entered the medical field when it designed iMiGiNE®, a revolutionary tool to produce injectable radiopharmaceuticals used for diagnosis.

When located near patients and research centers, the device is capable of autonomously producing the radiotracers used in PET scans, which enables a precise diagnosis on the same day to rapidly characterize the disease. "With the CEA, we have installed an iMiGiNE system at the Frédéric Joliot Hospital in Orsay, another in Nancy, and a cyclotron in Guadeloupe, paving the way for the next generation of molecular imaging diagnostics," says Marc Delmas. PMB is a subsidiary of Alcen, a family-owned group based in Paris and headed by Pierre Prieux.