Elekta AB, a Swedish-based medical technology firm specialising in cancer treatment, has acquired healthcare IT software house IMPAC Medical Systems, who manufacture specialist oncology support and infrastructure software.

The move comes after a sales consulting agreement was signed between the two companies last October. The two companies had previously worked jointly to develop common interfaces.

Dr Laurent Leksell, president of Elekta, said: “The acquisition of IMPAC is an important step in the strategic development of Elekta and our ongoing efforts to improve cancer care."

IMPAC’s products include electronic oncology health records, PACS and cancer decision support software, as well as their National Oncology Database, which they claim to be one of the most comprehensive research databases available. Elekta, as well as supplying surgery and radiation equipment, also manufacture support software for image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT).

Users of IMPAC software include the London Oncology Clinic, a specialised private referral clinic based in Harley Street, who use process management systems supplied by the company. IMPAC says that it has more than 2,500 installations in 56 countries worldwide – including over half of the top North American cancer centres.

Joseph K Jachinowski, co-founder of Elekta, said: “We are extremely excited about the avenues this transaction opens for the advancement of cancer therapy. Each company is a leader in its respective field, and together we can provide clinicians with more treatment, management and delivery solutions, in less time, and with a greater level of integration than previously possible."

Dr Leksell said: “Open connectivity based on industry standards is of great importance for all customers and supports the continued improvement of cancer care."

“We invite industry colleagues to take part in this development and we truly believe that all vendors should participate in an effort to make closed, non-compatible systems and vendor-specific connectivity solutions a thing of the past," he added.

IMPAC was founded in 1990 to develop integrated clinical and administrative management systems tailored specifically for oncology. The acquisition was recommended to IMPAC shareholders by the company’s board of directors, although it is dependent on shareholders voting to approve it in a special meeting in mid-April.