Virtual Incision, a surgical robot assistant developer, raised $20 million in a Series B+ funding round.
The round was led by Bluestem Capital, with participation from PrairieGold Venture Partners, Genesis Innovation Group, and other affiliated investors.
According to the company, the new funds will support the commercialization of its Surgical Robotic Platform – MIRA.
The MIRA Surgical Robotic Platform features a small, self-contained surgical device that is inserted through a single midline umbilical incision in the patient’s abdomen. According to the company, its surgical robotic platform enables surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgeries in any hospital or surgery center, without the need for a dedicated space or the infrastructure typically required for “mainframe” robotic systems.
“We designed the MIRA Surgical Robotic Platform with the fundamental understanding that minimally invasive procedures offer tremendous benefits to patients. We believe our portable and affordable abdominal robot has the potential to bring these benefits to many more patients,” said John Murphy, president, and CEO of Virtual Incision. “The planned IDE clinical study of MIRA is the critical next step for the company.”
According to the company, colorectal and lower gastrointestinal procedures are among the fastest-growing surgeries in the U.S., with more than 400,000 colon resection procedures performed each year. Today, the most standard approach for treating patients with severe conditions is via a colectomy, which is often an invasive open surgery involving an extensive incision, a lengthy hospital stay, and several weeks of recovery. Open colectomies carry a high risk of surgical site infection and other complications that can negatively affect a patient’s quality of life.
Minimally invasive colectomies have been demonstrated to offer important benefits, and the use of miniaturized robotic surgery can potentially make these benefits more broadly available. Laparoscopic colectomies, though also minimally invasive, can be difficult to perform and can have less than ideal cosmetic outcomes.
“Beyond our initial device design for colon resection, Virtual Incision has begun developing a family of procedure-specific mini-robots for additional operations such as hernia repair, gallbladder removal, and others, potentially enabling millions more surgical procedures each year,” said Shane Farritor, Ph.D., Virtual Incision’s co-founder and chief technology officer.