The developers of a proposed, $383 million health technology park — anchored by a specialized cancer treatment center — are moving ahead with the plans, renewing a push for approval from state health officials.
Boston-based International Charged Particle LLC, the developer and operator of the cancer treatment center, submitted additional information to the State Office of Health Care Access today, the company’s president told me.
The state approval is necessary because the technology that would be used at the treatment center would be new to the state. The center would be the state’s first proton therapy center for treating cancerous tumors.
Steven E. Courtney, ICP’s president, said the company’s preferred site remains Enfield where it has a purchase agreement for a specific site. He declined to identify the site today.
Courtney said the company lobbied for legislation that would have exempted ICP from having to seek the state approval but those efforts failed.
The research and development park could eventually encompass a half-million square feet. The cancer center itself would be about 75,000 square feet and cost about $150 million. Nearly half of the cost — $64 million — is for equipment and installation, Courtney said.
Tenants in the park would be all related to medical technology. There are at least two potential tenants for the park interested in a combined 130,000 square feet. Courtney declined to name them.
The park could eventually create as many as 2,500 jobs in north central Connecticut over the next five years.
If approved, cancer patients could start receiving treatment within two years of the start of construction. Local zoning approval also is required.
ICP’s bank financing is still in place, Courtney told me, and ICP has had preliminary discussions with the state for an aid package.
The cancer treatment that would be offered differs from traditional radiation therapy because it uses a beam of protons to target benign and malignant tumors more precisely. That reduces the damage to nearby cells and organs that often occurs tin traditional radiation therapy, according to ICP.
Today, there are 11 centers around the country using the therapy and another half-dozen under construction. Courtney also is a partner in SciX, a Boston architectural firm that has designed a handful of proton therapy centers around the country. ICP was formed to design and develop the Connecticut project.
ICP chose Connecticut because it doesn’t have this cancer treatment option, and the closest, at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, already can’t accommodate everyone seeking treatment.
“Location-wise, it just screams for need,” Courtney said. “Connecticut patients have to leave this state to receive this treatment.”