Robotic surgery developer Distalmotion nets $90M to expand to US shores

After receiving a European approval for its laparoscopic surgery robot at the end of 2020, Distalmotion has raised $90 million to help take its system to the U.S.

The Dexter system aims to provide what the Swiss company describes as a “hybrid approach” to minimally invasive surgery. By offering a smaller, more flexible footprint in the operating room, bedside surgeons have the option to switch between traditional, hand-operated laparoscopic instruments and the device’s two robotically controlled arms within seconds.

The system is also designed to work as an open platform, compatible with a range of surgical tools and 3D imaging systems, for a simpler addition into a hospital’s workflow. 

Distalmotion’s series E financing was led by Revival Healthcare Capital, with additional funding from 415 Capital and other previous backers. The proceeds are slated to fuel Distalmotion’s commercial scale-up as well as its regulatory submissions to the FDA.

“The market is overdue for a fundamentally new approach to robotic surgery, where the mindset needs to be about ‘the surgeon’s robot,’ not molding ‘the robot’s surgeon,’” Revival Chairman Rick Anderson said in a statement

As part of the round, Anderson will also become chairman of Distalmotion, while Revival’s president and managing director, Lauren Forshey, will join the board as an observer.

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The latest financing follows Dexter’s first clinical use last July with the completion of a series of hysterectomies at the Inselspital and Lindenhofspital in Bern, Switzerland, through the company’s European early adopter program.

Shortly afterward, surgeons at Lausanne University Hospital tapped Dexter for the system’s first general surgery procedure to repair a rectal prolapse. 

Distalmotion has worked with the hospital since its early days. It was founded in 2013 as a spinoff from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. The hospital’s surgeons have helped develop the company’s prototypes, and Distalmotion plans to rely on the university as a global reference center for hybrid robotic surgery going forward.