Medtronic’s robotic surgery partner Mazor unveils studies touting effectiveness of its machines

Mazor Robotics unveils new studies on robotic surgery.

Mazor Robotics ($MZOR), Medtronic’s ($MDT) partner in surgical robotics, unveiled results from a pair of studies that showed use of its guidance platform for spinal surgeries versus freehand minimally invasive surgery significantly reduced the rates of complications and revision surgical procedures.

The company presented the findings of the two studies Tuesday at the 23rd International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques meeting in Washington, D.C.

Data from the first study, titled "Surgical Outcomes of Robotic-Guidance vs. Freehand Instrumentation – A Retrospective Review of 705 Adult Degenerative Spine Patients Operated in Minimally Invasive (MIS) and Open Approaches,” indicated a three times higher rate of complications in both the freehand minimally invasive surgery and freehand open cases, compared with procedures that used the company’s Renaissance robotic spinal surgery system. The surgical revision rate was 3.8 times higher in the freehand cases than in the Renaissance cases, the company said.

In the second study, previously released by Mazor in May, data showed that using the company’s surgical guidance system significantly reduced the complication and revision rates compared with traditional freehand surgery cases.

"While MIS adoption for spine surgeries is improving in general, the rate of MIS surgeries using our surgical guidance technology is far higher than the industry average, demonstrating that it is an enabling technology that delivers better patient outcomes," Ori Hadomi, Mazor’s CEO, said in a statment.

With a focus on spinal surgery, Medtronic entered into the growing field of surgical robotics earlier this year when it partnered with Israel’s Mazor. Under terms of the deal, which could surpass $50 million if all three tranches are excercised, Medtronic could hold about 15% of Mazor.

Still, Medtronic isn’t alone in the surgical robotics field. Intuitive Surgical ($ISRG), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Verily’s joint venture, Verb,  are all players. And Auris Surgical Robotics and Hansen Medical ($HNSN)--both founded by Dr. Frederic Moll, who also founded Intuitive--announced earlier this year that they would merge.

- check out the release

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