Surgical robotics specialist Virtual Incision reeled in $18 million in a series B round of funding the company said it will use toward its 510(k) premarket notification submission to the FDA for a next-generation miniaturized robotically assisted surgical device.
The financing round for the company, which is based in both Lincoln, Nebraska, and Pleasanton, California, was co-led by China’s Sinopharm Capital and Bluestem Capital. PrairieGold Venture Partners also participated in the round, the company said.
Virtual Incision’s latest surgical robot will let surgeons perform less-invasive abdominal procedures that are currently performed through large, open incisions, including multi-quadrant surgeries such as colon resection.
While other heavy surgical robotic systems require multiple incision points for abdominal surgery, Virtual Incision’s system uses an umbilical incision entry point in the patient’s abdomen. The system is also designed to use existing tools and techniques familiar to surgeons, and does not require a dedicated operating room or specialized infrastructure.
“Closing this round of financing launches the development of our miniaturized surgical robot toward our next key milestones, including submission to the FDA for market clearance,” John Murphy, president and CEO of Virtual Incision, said in a statement.
The company’s robotic platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to track and guide instruments and features the world’s first robotic flex tip laparoscope, which is controlled by the surgeon.
Last June, Auris Surgical Robotics, another robotics company founded by Intuitive founder Frederic Moll, earned FDA clearance for its Auris Robotic Endoscopy System. The device is a bronchoscope for the visualization and treatment of lung conditions. Intuitive Surgical is best known for its da Vinci systems for robot-assisted surgery.