Oncology and X-Ray products company,
Varian Medical Systems
) recently revealed that China's State Food and Drug Administration
has given it clearance to sell the Unique offering, which is a
medical linear accelerator for cancer therapy with sophisticated
types of image-guided radiotherapy.
The Unique system may be utilized to provide RapidArc therapy as
well as intensity-modulated radiotherapy and accurately focus on
tumors while reducing collateral damage to adjacent healthy cells.
The Unique system may be used to treat different types of cancers.
It is estimated that over 2.2 million fresh cancer cases come up in
China each year. Many cancer institutions function on two or even
three shifts to meet the demand for radiotherapy. In order to
reduce backlog, the Ministry of Health in China has decided to
permit hospitals to sharply increase the number of accelerators.
For its part, Varian developed the Unique system keeping in mind
the growing requirements of China and other countries.
The Unique radiotherapy system is the first radiotherapy system
equipped for beam shaping, image guidance and RapidArc know-how.
Varian's Eclipse therapy planning software is integrated with the
system. Unique may be used to provide RapidArc therapy, as much as
four times more rapidly than orthodox intensity-modulated
Varian is currently selling two versions of its system namely the
Unique Power Edition which is a somewhat basic upgradeable setup
and the Unique Performance Edition which is an integrated version
for RapidArc radiotherapy.
Varian is a leading manufacturer of integrated radiotherapy systems
for cancer treatment, and a premier supplier of X-ray tubes for
diagnostic imaging applications. The company operates in a
technology-driven environment where success depends on the use of
new technology, product development and upgrades. In the radiation
oncology market, Varian competes with
Varian is poised to increase its market share in radiation
oncology. It currently enjoys a healthy demand for its coveted
TrueBeam technology, which has meaningfully contributed to its net
order oncology growth. Varian's TrueBeam was designed to treat
tumors with beams of high speed and precision. It incorporates
several technological innovations such as positioning the patient
and managing his/her motion. It can dispense dosage roughly four
times faster than that possible with earlier equipment.
Moreover, Varian enjoys a strong balance sheet marked by low debt
and moderate cash. The company from time to time uses a part of its
healthy cash flow for share repurchases.
However, Varian competes with larger players in a
technology-intensive industry. Further, uncertainties stemming from
health care reform and a still weak hospital capital spending
environment across many developed countries, especially in Europe,
are significant challenges.
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Rank, which translates into a short-term Sell rating.