American Shared Hospital Services (NYSE:AMS) (the "Company"), a leading provider of turnkey technology solutions for stereotactic radiosurgery and advanced radiation therapy equipment and services, today announced that it has signed a joint venture agreement to partner in a radiation therapy facility in Puebla, Mexico, located 80 miles from Mexico City.
AMS has signed a Joint Venture ("JV") agreement with the principal owners of Guadalupe Amor Y Bien ("Guadalupe") to establish a Mexican company ("Newco") to treat public and private cancer patients. AMS and Guadalupe will hold 85% and 15% ownership interests, respectively, in Newco. Under the agreement, AMS will be responsible for providing a linear accelerator ("linac") upgrade to an Elekta Versa HD ("Versa"), and Guadalupe will be accountable for all site modification costs.
Guadalupe Amor Y Bien is a well-established, privately owned radiation therapy facility. Founded in 1997, Guadalupe introduced the first linac in the region which has a population of over six million people. The facility, which hasn't operated since 2020, is expected to start up in late 2022/early 2023, pending regulatory approvals. The Center will be staffed by an administrative and medical team, including a full-time Medical Director, radiation oncologist, and medical physicist.
"This is an exciting transaction for AMS, and the first expansion of our international strategy into Mexico, which also includes our existing Gamma Knife centers in Peru and Ecuador," said Ray Stachowiak, Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that the joint venture with the principals of the Guadalupe facility is a testament to AMS' broadened product line and is ripe with opportunity. The upgrade to the Versa's multiple treatment techniques, which includes IMRT, VMAT, SBRT and Radiosurgery, are expected to generate significant demand from the populous region."
Ernest R. Bates, SVP of Sales and Business Development at AMS, added, "The ability to offer additional treatment modalities to the region is expected to be a significant competitive advantage. The introduction of IMRT is expected to improve patient outcomes. The upgrade will also bring the first and only radiosurgery device to the region, where until now patients have been traveling 80 miles to Mexico City to receive these treatments. Importantly, the Versa's radiosurgery capabilities allow patients to be treated in one session versus multiple treatments for other options, which is expected to further drive demand."
AMS' JV partner, Ms. Guadalupe Guzman Moreno, commented, "We look forward to treating patients and providing these much needed services to the region again. The enhanced equipment that the JV will afford will ensure that our patients won't have to travel long distances to receive advanced care."