Activ Surgical scores Hikma-led funding round to bring series B total to $60M

It’s become increasingly popular for pharmaceutical companies to invest their venture capital dollars outside the realm of drugmaking, pouring them instead into startups developing technologies designed to treat patients either with or without a pharmacological element.

Firmly situated on that bandwagon is Hikma Pharmaceuticals, whose Hikma Ventures offshoot has spent the better part of the last decade providing financial support to medtech companies like Alzheimer’s-predicting app builder Altoida, prescription digital therapeutic maker Click Therapeutics—which is also backed by Sanofi—and more.

Its latest target is Activ Surgical, which is developing artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies to improve surgical procedures. Less than half a year after Activ closed its series B financing with $45 million in its pocket, Hikma has led a group of existing investors in the startup to tack on some additional funding.

The new $15 million extension brings Activ’s total series B take to $60 million. That’ll nearly triple the company’s lifetime fundraising total, which clocked in at just over $30 million in 2020 and is now close to surpassing the $100 million mark.

With the added funds, Activ will be able to rev up its plans for the worldwide launch of its ActivSight endoscopy tech, CEO Todd Usen said in a statement.

“This investment will allow us to scale our business quickly and add resources needed to ensure a successful rollout of the ActivSight imaging module, helping to fulfill our mission to empower surgeons’ intraoperative decision-making and, ultimately, enhance patient safety,” he said.

Hikma, which is now based in London but was originally founded in Jordan, said it was especially looking forward to helping the device make its debut in the Middle East.

Activ received the FDA’s clearance for the ActivSight system in April 2021. When attached to any standard laparoscope or arthroscope and a surgical camera system, it uses machine learning algorithms to automatically add real-time measurements of blood flow and tissue perfusion and vascularity to the camera’s feed throughout an endoscopic procedure.

The system is housed on the ActivEdge platform, which is also home to the company’s second product, ActivInsights. That technology comprises a host of augmented reality overlays to provide even more real-time data to surgeons during a procedure. These “Insights” will be powered by robotics and advanced artificial intelligence and trained using the huge compendium of annotated imaging data Activ has collected.