Varian Medical Unveils New Linear Accelerator

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Source: MD&DI

Varian Medical Systems, the largest player in the linear accelerator (linac) market, has added another system to its lineup. During the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) annual meeting, held recently in Barcelona, the company presented its VitalBeam linac. The system, which is awaiting CE Mark and FDA 510(k) clearance, is expected to be targeted at centers in the emerging markets.

Linacs, a major part of the radiation oncology market, are used to deliver radiation to kill cancer cells. Varian has 60% global market share and as the United States and other developed markets have reached saturation in linacs, the company and its competitors have increased their focus on the emerging markets.

Hospitals in the emerging markets often have more limited budgets, so companies usually offer more basic linacs at more attractive prices. Varian has long sold its most basic linac, the Unique system, into these developing countries. The VitalBeam is targeting a customer population somewhere between the Unique system and the company’s high-end TrueBeam system.

According to a Seeking Alpha transcript, Dow Wilson, Varian’s president and chief executive officer, explained the new system’s future position in the product portfolio on a April 29 earnings call with analysts: “we see this [VitalBeam] as really kind of between Unique and TrueBeam, and fulfilling a space where we can be more competitive. I think it's going to give us better price support, TrueBeam, and it's not going to compete with the Unique at all.”

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