Virtual Incision recently raised $20 million in a Series B financing round for its MIRA (miniaturized in vivo robotic assistant) surgical robotic platform. This brings the total financing for the Lincoln, Neb.-based company, which was founded in 2006, to $51 million.
The company also filed for an FDA investigational device exemption for the MIRA platform so it can initiate a clinical study in support of its regulatory pathway to approval. The study is slated to evaluate the safety and efficacy of MIRA for colon resection surgeries at multiple U.S. sites.
MIRA is a robot designed to enable surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgeries at any hospital or surgery center without the need for a dedicated space or the infrastructure that is usually required for “mainframe” robotic systems. The two-pound platform has full robotic capabilities and can be moved easily from one room to another.
Virtual Incision said its goal is to increase access to minimally invasive abdominal surgery and to maximize hospital efficiency at a price point that is lower than current robotic systems on the market.
The $20 million funding round was led by returning investor Bluestem Capital. Returning investor PrairieGold Venture Partners, as well as Genesis Innovation group and others, also participated.
“We designed the MIRA surgical robotic platform with the fundamental understanding that minimally invasive procedures offer tremendous benefits to patients,” Virtual Incision president & CEO John Murphy said in a news release. “We believe our portable and affordable abdominal robot has the potential to bring these benefits to many more patients. “The planned IDE clinical study of MIRA is the critical next step for the company.”
“Demand for minimally invasive surgeries continues to increase, and we are enthusiastic about the promise of the MIRA platform to meet this demand, while also delivering unparalleled flexibility,” added Virtual Incision co-founder & chief medical officer Dr. Dmitry Oleynikov. “We are focused on expanding access to minimally invasive robotic procedures and delivering this innovation to the many centers where a smaller, simpler and less costly solution is needed.”
“The Virtual Incision team has developed a unique robotic platform that has incredible potential to transform surgery,” said Bluestem Capital founding partner Steve Kirby. “With its foundational intellectual property – including more than 200 patents and applications – we are convinced that Virtual Incision will be leading the next wave of innovation in robotic surgery with the pioneering MIRA system.”