Virtual Incision Gets $18 Million Series B Funding for Miniaturized Surgical Robots
Virtual Incision Corp. reported that the company has raised $18 million in Series B funding.
According to a media release, the round was co-led by new investor Sinopharm Capital, the private equity fund initiated by Sinopharm Group, a healthcare company, and existing investor Bluestem Capital, with participation from PrairieGold Venture Partners and others.
The company said that this financing will support its 510(k) premarket notification submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its next-generation miniaturized robotically assisted surgical device (RASD). The Virtual Incision RASD is designed to enable physicians to perform less-invasive general surgery abdominal procedures that today are usually performed via large, open incisions, including multi-quadrant surgeries such as colon resection.
"Closing this round of financing launches the development of our miniaturized surgical robot toward our next key milestones, including submission to the FDA for market clearance," said John Murphy, president and CEO of Virtual Incision. "We sincerely appreciate the support from all of our investors, who clearly understand the tremendous potential of our surgical robotics program and provide vital input to our team and company."
While similar to other RASDs with regard to intended use, Virtual Incision noted that its technology takes a new and unique approach to robotically assisted surgery in comparison to currently available technologies or those in development. The existing large, mainframe-like robots can weigh as much as a ton and use multiple arms to manipulate long tools that reach inside the body via a complex array of ports, which can require as many as six incisions for colon resection.
The Virtual Incision robotic platform leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to track and guide instrument usage, and incorporates tools such as the first robotic flex top laparoscope, which is controlled by the surgeon.
"The large footprint and dedicated operating suite required to house multi-port or single-port mainframe robots can limit access, especially in smaller hospitals that have only one robotic surgery system. In contrast, our robot is designed to be moved from suite to suite as needed, providing the surgical staff with much more flexibility when it comes to the tools being used during a procedure," said Shane Farritor, Virtual Incision's co-founder and chief technology officer. "Our objective is to significantly reduce operating room complexity, with a goal of better clinical outcomes for patients."
The Virtual Incision RASD was used successfully for the first time to perform colon resection surgery outside the U.S. in 2016 as part of the safety and feasibility trial for the technology.
"Virtual Incision is committed to developing a family of simpler and more cost-effective robotic options targeting multiple procedures including gallbladder removal, hernia repair, colectomy and similar abdominal surgeries," said Dmitry Oleynikov, M.D., FACS, chief of minimally invasive surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and co-founder and chief medical officer of Virtual Incision. "Our elegant technologies will help eliminate the complex and costly surgical robot options currently available, which can weigh nearly 2,000 pounds. Virtual Incision will provide minimally invasive options in a cost-effective and streamlined two-pound package."
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THE DAILY VIEW
Tea Forté Introduces ‘Matcha’ Collection
Convenience meets tradition in Tea Forté’s new Ceremonial Matcha Bowl Set and the Matcha Single Steeps.
The company said its spring harvested, shade grown, stone ground, organic matcha tea is best served in a centuries-old Japanese tea ceremony called chanoyu: a preparation technique known for its centering meditative qualities.
"The launch of Tea Forté's Matcha collection represents our continued commitment to wellness and cultivating all the potential mental and physical health benefits of tea," says Tea Forté CEO Michael Gebrael. "In addition to our high quality Pure Matcha, we've also blended four distinct flavored Matcha varieties. Prepackaged in pouches measured out for a single serving, our Single Steeps Matcha is ideal for the office, travel, or to keep with you for a boost anytime."
Tea Forté noted its handcrafted ceremonial tea bowl, handmade bamboo whisk and measuring ladle “encourages serene enjoyment of our premium Kosher, gluten-free and vegan matcha blends.” These include: Pure Matcha, Chocolate Matcha, Coconut Matcha, Ginger Matcha, and Chai Matcha.
According to a release, in addition to its distinctive taste, matcha is prized for its health benefits. Steeped green tea contains only the antioxidants that can be extracted in water, while with matcha, the whole leaf is consumed.
Available now in select stores and online at teaforte.com.
Expedia.com has released a year-end look at U.S. traveler behavior and trends for 2017, analyzing data to identify the most in-demand destinations, hotels, activities and more.
Among other insights, the roundup revealed:
- Labor Day was the busiest weekend for car rental
- Disney Theme Parks topped the list of things to do
- The average hotel stay was two nights
- Top destinations based on 2017 air travel included major global cities like New York, London and Bangkok
- Popular tourist destinations included Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas