Rob Surgical has raised €5 million from Dutch holding company, Scranton Enterprises, to continue developing its robotic surgery technology, finish the validation process, and bring the product to market.
The medtech startup wants to universalise high-precision surgery. Its engineers have designed a flexible, modular, and open robotic platform that "will improve the effectiveness of today's robotic surgery and make it accessible to more hospitals around the world,” says Jaume Amat, CEO of Rob Surgical and president of Catalonia Bio & HealthTech. “We will make possible combined manual and robotic surgery, what we like to call hybrid minimum invasive surgery (HMIS).”
The proprietary system is known as Bitrack, and serves as an alternative to the current laparoscopy surgical robot, Da Vinci. Amat explained the benefits of the Bitrack system, claiming, “Our value proposition is based on three cornerstones: high precision benefitting the patient, superior usability for the surgeon, and a significant total cost of ownership reduction benefiting the hospitals.”
The new robot has already been validated through testing at the Mayo Clinic in the US and at Barcelona university hospitals, Vall d’Hebron and Germans Trias. Bitrack still needs a CE marking, a certification mark that indicates compliance with health, safety, and environmental protection standards in Europe.
The latest investment will help with that. Amat estimates the CE process to take about 30 months. The funding will also help the company follow through on a few more goals before 2021: build three new units to finalise the validation and manufacturing process, expand the corporate and engineering teams, and complete the final safety trials.
Founded in 2012, Rob Surgical was a spin-off of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). The founding team members are Dr. Josep Amat, Dr. Alícia Casals, Dr. Manel Frigola and Jaume Amat. To date, the company has raised €8 million from private investors and €1 million of public funding.