Following the success of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for a number of indications and surgical specialities, medical device companies have turned to surgical robotics as the next big innovation.

These systems for robotic-assisted surgical procedures are a growing trend, experiencing increased interest globally. A number of the companies at the forefront of this technology are startups and small players focused solely on a surgical robotic system; as such, capital raisings are increasingly important and active in this space.

Surgical robotic systems are designed to solve the limitations still present in MIS procedures, as well as to improve open surgical procedures. These systems exist for an array of indications, from all-purpose systems indicated for a variety of general surgery procedures to specialized systems for orthopaedic knee replacement procedures. While robotic-assisted surgery aims to provide increased precision and control to a complicated procedure, these robotic systems are generally very expensive to procure.

The surgical robotics landscape

The competitive landscape for surgical robotics is vast and varied, with both large multinationals and small startups venturing into the space. Among these, Intuitive Surgical has held the top position in the global surgical robotics market since the initial FDA approval of the company’s first generation da Vinci system in 2000. Following Intuitive Surgical’s success, global competitors including Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, and Stryker have either partnered with or acquired surgical robotics companies to help accelerate robotic innovation and gain market share. However, most surgical robotics systems are being developed by smaller companies or startups that are reliant on funding and capital raisings for continued advancement.

Over the past year, several surgical robotics players including Titan Medical, Medrobotics, and Accuray have announced capital raisings through public offerings or private share placements. The largest deals have assisted CMR Surgical, Corindus Vascular Robotics, and Mazor Robotics. In September 2017, Mazor Robotics announced the completion of the third tranche of private share placement for $40M, for a total of $72M. The offering also brings Medtronic’s total investment in Mazor to $125M. Corindus Vascular Robotics announced a planned public offering in April 2018 to issue common stock shares for gross proceeds of up to $53.3M, and in June 2018, CMR Surgical raised $100M in Series B financing. CMR plans to use the proceeds to assist in the planned commercialization of the company’s Versius system.

Improvements in surgical procedures through the use of robotics will increase the patient population eligible for treatment, as well as reduce complications and negative outcomes. As partnerships and funding continue to support innovation in the surgical robotics market, GlobalData believes the competitive landscape will become more crowded and the market will continue to grow to support a wider variety of surgical procedures and patients.

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