Deerfield bets on robotic surgery with OMNIlife science deal

Robotic surgery notched a victory today as Deerfield Management Company closed a $27.5 million debt financing deal with OMNIlife science, provider of the FDA-cleared OMNInav system.

"Deerfield has been an active investor in robotic systems designed to aid in surgical procedures," Deerfield Partner Steve Hochberg said in a statement. "OMNIlife science has developed a cost-effective computer navigation and robotic platform in orthopedics for improved outcomes of total joint replacement procedures."

The investment management company just launched a $1.6 billion healthcare fund, Deerfield Private Design Fund III, but a company spokeswoman said in an email that the investment in OMNI came from the previous Deerfield Private Design Fund II.

OMNI said in its statement that it plans to increase the number of OMNInav systems deployed from 18 to 50 by the end of 2015. The company says its technology allows surgeons to create "a digital model of the patient's knees" and make precise cuts using a robotic cutting guide technology dubbed OMNIplasty, which it claims is the only FDA cleared robotic navigation solution for primary total knee replacement. More than 3,000 total knee replacement procedures have been performed worldwide using OMNIplasty, the company says.

It will also use the proceeds to expand its range of hip and knee implants. According to its website, OMNI already sells 5 hip and two knee implants.

While OMNI's financing is good news for the emerging field of robotic surgery, the space took a hit earlier this week when Intuitive Surgical ($ISRG) issued an earnings warnings due to safety and cost concerns regarding its da Vinci Surgical System.

- read the release

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