Virtual Incision Corp.
This article was originally published in Start Up
The debate surrounding the future of minimally invasive surgery -- whether single-incision laparoscopy will prevail, or whether it is merely a stepping stone to a world of incisionless NOTES procedures - is not really relevant to Virtual Incision, a start-up developing mini surgical robots. The company's founders believe that in vivo robots will free a surgeon of any constraints due to the method of entering the body.
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Investments for start-ups seeking their first infusion of venture capital continues to be scarce as venture firms seek later-stage opportunities and liquidity to improve their own chances of raising new funds.
The tremendous success of Intuitive Surgical over the past two decades seems clearly to argue that robotics is more than a techy's pipedream. Intuitive has already revolutionized at least one procedure - laparoscopic prostatectomy - and it figures to make significant progress in a range of others, in men's health, women's health, and cardiovascular surgery, to name just a few relevant clinical spaces. Even more impressive has been its success as a publicly traded company; for much of the middle years of this decade, Intuitive's stock was the strongest performer among all medical device public offerings. And perhaps most interesting: until recently, Intuitive was virtually the only robotics company to achieve any kind of success at all. In Vivo interviews Lonnie Smith, the CEO of the company for much of the 1990s and 2000s, to whom much of the credit should go.
A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "Alzheimer's Start-Ups Face A Discovery And Clinical Crossroads," features profiles of AlzProtect, Axerion Therapeutics, Cognition Therapeutics and Galantos Pharma. "The Future of Laparoscopy: Single Incision, NOTES And Robots," features profiles of EndoControl, Ovesco Endoscopy, SurgiQuest and Virtual Incision. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: Antabio, Beta-Stim, CMP Therapeutics, Elixir Medical, Kerecis, Optivia Biotechnology, Quanterix and reinnervate.