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Virtual Incision added a $30 million extension to its previous $46 million Series C financing round. The Lincoln, Nebraska-based surgical robot maker announced the initial $46 million raise in November 2021. Current investors Bluestem Capital, Endeavour Vision, Baird Capital, cultivate(MD) Capital Funds and PrairieGold Venture Partners led the round. New health-tech investors Arboretum Ventures and InVivium Capital also joined.
Concurrent with the extension, Virtual Incision appointed Dr. Tom Shehab as a board director and Amy Kobe as a board observer. Shehab serves as managing partner at Arboretum Ventures and Kobe serves as general partner for InVivium Capital.
“We’re grateful for our investors – both existing and new – and are excited to build an even stronger medtech syndicate with the additions of Arboretum and InVivium,” said John Murphy, president and CEO of Virtual Incision. “This financing, particularly in the current fundraising environment, is a significant affirmation of the promise Virtual Incision offers to both patients and shareholders.”
Virtual Incision’s intended use of proceeds
Virtual Incision designed its MIRA surgical system to address the limitations of traditional robotic-assisted mainframe machines. It miniaturized and simplified the soft tissue robotics platform to make it more accessible, easy to use, and easy to adopt.
The company plans to use the $30 million extension to support its operations “well into 2025” and to support its miniaturized surgical robot. This “miniRAS” technology aims to deliver the capabilities of traditional surgical robots in a form factor small enough to fit in a surgical tray. MIRA’s compact design could expand robot-assisted surgery to patients without access today.
Virtual Incision plans to use the investment to support its mission through a gynecologic clinical study planned for 2024. It also plans to continue developing a smaller iteration of its minibot to enable additional general surgery applications. The company earmarked first-in-human studies for next year on that front.
Securing additional funding adds to a list of recent milestones for the company and its MIRA system. In May, the company submitted MIRA for de novo authorization for use in bowel resection procedures. The submission followed a completed FDA investigational device exemption (IDE) study. FDA approved the IDE supplement for MIRA in April 2022. Virtual Incision plans to initiate a limited launch of MIRA across select U.S. centers if the FDA authorizes it.
In the meantime, the company has plans to support a collaboration between NASA and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Virtual Incision announced last year that MIRA will be used in a technology demonstration aboard the International Space Station (ISS). A NASA grant enables the use of MIRA on a 2024 technology demonstration mission.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on our sister site Mass Device.