Virtual Incision secures $30M funding to expand its mini-robot for laparoscopic surgery

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A diminutive robot is making a significant financial stride. Virtual Incision, a pioneer in assisted surgery technology, has secured a substantial $30 million in funding, strategically allocated to sustain operations over the next two years as the company sets its sights on securing FDA approval. At the heart of this Nebraska-based company’s innovation lies the laparoscopic MIRA system, a marvel designed to neatly fit into a surgical tray, tipping the scales at a mere two pounds. Its mission? To equip surgeons with a downsized camera and two robotic arms, all of which can be discreetly inserted within the abdomen via a single incision at the navel.

The recent funding boost is characterised as an extension of the prior $46 million series C round, initially disclosed in late December 2021. This approach to venture capital financing, designed to provide flexibility and long-term sustainability, has been employed by Virtual Incision before. In 2017, the company initially garnered $18 million in its series B funding, later supplementing it with an additional $20 million in January 2020 through what it termed a “series B+.”

“This financing, particularly in the current fundraising environment, is a significant affirmation of the promise Virtual Incision offers to both patients and shareholders.”

– CEO John Murphy

Noteworthy additions to the roster of investors in the series C include Bluestem Capital, Endeavour Vision, Baird Capital, cultivate (MD) Capital Funds, and PrairieGold Venture Partners, with fresh supporters such as Arboretum Ventures and InVivium Capital.

Simultaneously with this financial milestone, Virtual Incision has appointed Dr. Tom Shehab, Managing Partner at Arboretum, to its board of directors, and Amy Kobe, General Partner at InVivium, as a board observer.

Earlier this year, the company proudly announced the completion of a clinical study assessing MIRA’s efficacy in bowel resection. In May, Virtual Incision submitted its compact robotic surgery system to the FDA for a de novo review in this procedure, a move of great significance given that over 60% of bowel resections in the US are currently performed using open surgery, affecting nearly 300,000 patients.

Should the FDA grant its approval, Virtual Incision has ambitious plans to initiate a limited launch of MIRA in select US surgical centres. The $30 million funding injection is earmarked to fuel the company’s operations through 2025, including a forthcoming gynecologic clinical study for MIRA slated for the next year. Moreover, the company is actively developing an even more compact version of its innovative device, targeting a broader range of general surgery applications, with plans for a first-in-human clinical study in 2024. This impressive stride underscores Virtual Incision’s commitment to advancing the field of minimally invasive surgery.

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