Government & Business working together to bring cancer treatments to developing countries

With the help of the Department of International Trade (DIT), a pioneering medical firm is set to advance the quality of life and patient choice across developing nations with its modern take on a traditional cancer treatment.

Derbyshire-based Ariane Medical was established in 2005 in response to an appeal from a prominent French oncology Professor.

This appeal requested an X-ray Brachytherapy system to breath new life in to the management of lower rectal cancer tumours by delivering the Papillon technique – a technique focused on organ preservation which offers patients a chance to avoid the need for a stoma.

This system is critical for many patients but particularly the elderly and others with comorbidities. Additionally, the system also improves overall patient choice and quality of life.

The original Papillon X-ray Brachytherapy systems were developed and delivered in 2009 to Liverpool, UK, and Nice, France. These systems were designed to deliver a low energy but high curative dose, rapidly and safely, directly to a tumor. In the following years, overseas trade began to increase, and the company got in contact with DIT.

As a clinically driven product, the Ariane team needed to be connected with the right clinicians in their markets of interest.

Mark Davies, International Sales Manager, says, “We are a very small company compared to most in this market - we swim in a pond with big sharks! Working with DIT helps us level the playing field. Our success has all been about getting good conversations in different parts of the world and by tapping into the support here and overseas, we’re able to do that.”

The company currently exports globally to seven countries and is beginning to expand into Africa. The expansion of the overseas market stemmed from the development of international partnerships originally initiated at Arab Health. Ariane Medical first attended this event in 2018 and has been every year since.

Arab Health is a very broad event and with a limited marketing budget, you have to be very careful how you allocate your budget. We joined the UK pavilion which is a great way of bringing our message to a new market affordably, without the cost of our own stand."

Mark Davies, International Sales Manager

Designed to be mobile, wireless and cable-free, the Papillon X-ray Brachytherapy system allows treatments to be delivered in operating theatres, brachytherapy suites and clinics with minimal shielding requirements. This makes it the perfect solution for developing markets across Asia and Africa where infrastructure is limited.

Arab Health provided a chance to meet with healthcare providers from these key markets.

“Those introductions were invaluable – people come to see what was available from the UK. We found highly specialized sales and distribution partners for Nigeria and for India at the event.”

Once partners were established, the support continued.

When I went to India the teams in Mumbai and Bangalore were fantastic. They met me, identified hospitals to visit, set up appointments, and worked closely with our partner to facilitate conversations with the right people. DIT can open doors for us that a commercial partner just can’t do."

Mark Davies, International Sales Manager

Not only has the company had significant interest in India, they have also sold their first system in Nigeria, with a second order in the pipeline. The partners, Swiss Biostadt Ltd., are incredibly proactive; with the system set to be installed later this year, two doctors have already been sent to Liverpool for training.

The DIT team in Lagos is eager to boost the launch by hosting an event at the High Commission and inviting VIPs.

Mark regularly receives support from DIT trade officers based in the High Commissions in Mumbai, Bangalore and Lagos, as well as from Louise Stock, his International Trade Adviser.

It’s not only about opening doors. Louise brings things to my attention that I don’t know about, and she can signpost, and problem solve. I can have a regulatory discussion with a specialist one day and a conversation with a partnership expert another. DIT have such a breadth of expertise I can tap into.”

Mark Davies, International Sales Manager

The company’s vision of introducing the Papillon X-ray Brachytherapy system to developing countries, whilst facilitating improvements in patient care and their quality of life, continues to advance rapidly. Mark is delighted with his success at Arab Health and intends to be there for the UK pavilion in 2022.

About Ariane Medical Systems

X-ray brachytherapy: Breast, rectal & skin cancer treatment with the Papillon +

Ariane Medical Systems Ltd was incorporated in 2005 to optimize the use of low energy X-rays for the treatment of accessible tumors. Working closely with clinical partners the Papillon50 X-ray Brachytherapy system was developed to treat lower rectal tumors. The Papillon 50 is now treating patients in Denmark, France, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

In 2016 the Papillon+ X-Ray Brachytherapy system was developed to deliver an Intra-Operative Radiotherapy (IORT) Boost to tumor beds as well as the tumor itself.


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Last updated: Jan 7, 2022 at 4:40 AM

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