Medrobotics raises $20M to expand robotic surgery system

Medrobotics has raised $20 million to develop a next-generation robotic surgery system and expand use of its existing platform into new indications. The privately held robotic surgery specialist turned to existing investors for the money.

Raynham, Massachusetts-based Medrobotics has earmarked two main uses for the cash injection. Some of the money will go toward development of Medrobotics’ next-generation Flex Robotic System. The goal is to develop more fully robotic instruments to complement the range of scissors, spatulas, dissectors and other tools it offers today.

In parallel, Medrobotics is working to secure clearance to use its existing system in new ways. The company picked up a CE mark and FDA clearance for its Flex system in 2014 and 2015, respectively. But use of the system is currently limited to ear, nose and throat (ENT) procedures. Medrobotics will use some of the $20 million to expand use of Flex to gynecological surgeries and other procedures.

Medrobotics listed its revenue as being under $1 million when it filed to raise up to $25 million late in 2015, but declined to disclose its sales in the submission covering its $20 million round earlier this year. Whatever the figure, branching out into general surgery, urology and gynecology will give Medrobotics the chance to grow.

The Flex pitch in these new indications is likely to echo that Medrobotics is making in ENT. Flex, as the name suggests, uses a flexible robotic scope. Medrobotics has given the scope this flexibility to enable physicians to take nonlinear paths around a patient’s anatomy to surgical sites. A joystick and images from a camera are used to guide and inform the advance of the device.

By inserting instruments along the scope’s guide tube, surgeons can manipulate the target site without opening up the patient. Today, this allows surgeons to access sites in the oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx, but Medrobotics thinks the system can access different parts of the body by entering through other orifices. The goal is to give physicians new opportunities to perform minimally invasive surgeries.