MicroPort Scientific Corporation and MicroPort MedBot (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., have announced that they have jointly entered into a 3 billion yuan funding agreement. The agreement consists of transferring a portion of MicroPort®‘s shareholding in MicroPort® MedBot, which is valued at 1.5 billion yuan, and a direct additional investment worth 1.5 billion yuan in the subsidiary. The agreement has brought in the renowned strategic investors including Hillhouse Capital, CPE, Biolink Capital, Ground Flight Investment, and Efund. After concluding this round of funding, MicroPort® MedBot will remain a subsidiary controlled by MicroPort®.
Since 2014, MicroPort® MedBot is committed to addressing the most cutting-edge development needs of minimally invasive surgery, and providing innovatively integrated intelligent surgical solutions that can save patients’ lives or improve their quality of life. After years of R&D innovation and accumulation of industry expertise, the company has developed into a technology innovation company that has mastered core competencies needed across the whole supplychain of underlying technologies that are the prerequisites of the surgical robotic systems, with multi-disciplinary integration and platform expansion capabilities such as optics, mechanics, electronics, control, software, computing and angiography. MicroPort® MedBot’s current business completely covers the five “golden segments” including endoscope, orthopedics, vascular intervention, natural orifice and percutaneous puncture, building an innovative platform company with global presence and focused on developing multi-specialty surgical robotic solutions. The company’s three flagship systems in respective niche segments, namely DFVision™ 3D Electronic Laparoscope, Toumai™ Endoscopic Surgical Robotic System and Skywalker™ Orthopedic Surgery Navigation and Positioning System, have been granted entries into the “Green Channel” for innovative medical devices under a program of the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA). The company has an international team with outstanding talents and rich experience in robotic research and development, and medical device commercialization. With more than 250 domestic and international patents, the company has built a multi-segment, forward-looking and high-value intellectual property system for domestic surgical robotic systems.
DFVision™ 3D Electronic Laparoscope, applies the solution of high-definition objective lens and chip-on-tip structure that abandons the huge optical structure of conventional laparoscopes to not only satisfy surgeon’s needs for precise identification of tissue details but also significantly optimizes the surgeon’s operating experience. On October 21, 2019, the device completed a laparoscopic cholecystectomy case at the Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital affiliated with Zhejiang University School of Medicine.
The Toumai™ Endoscopic Surgical System developed by MicroPort® MedBot completed the first-ever case of Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy (RALRP) performed by a Chinese-made endoscopic robotic system at the East Hospital affiliated to Tongji University on November 1, 2019. The wrist-type surgical instruments of Toumai™ are highly flexible and agile. The 3D laparoscope provides a three-dimensional and true surgical field of vision. The intuitive tele-operation system is sensitive and easy to use, thereby simplifying the surgical operation and shortens operation time. On the whole, the system has demonstrated significant clinical advantages after becoming the first Chinese-made endoscopic robotic system to perform the challenging urological procedure.
The Skywalker™ Orthopedic Surgery Navigation and Positioning System has developed complete underlying core technology. Through the precise removal of bone, and accurate positioning and implantation of prosthesis, The Skywalker™ is able to provide consistent surgical outcomes through calibrations and elimination of human errors, thereby solving the long-standing clinical problems. On June 30, 2020, the first human clinical trial was completed in the Ninth People’s Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University Medical College. The product has been applied for registration and approval by the food and Drug Administration (FDA), laying the foundation for entry into the U.S. market.
During the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, MicroPort® MedBot rapidly responded to the clinical needs and made full use of the its technological advantages, in which the company independently developed a bronchial surgery robot for the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia in the chest in patients with COVID-19. The company completed the first robotic-assisted bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) case for its bronchus surgical system developed for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 at Shanghai Chest Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University Medical College. The remote control operation capabilities of the robot allowed physical separation of the medical staff from the surgical infection environment which not only reduced the infection risk of medical staff during the diagnosis and treatment, but also improved the diagnosis rate and cure rate of COVID-19.
MicroPort® MedBot through strategic cooperation with the world’s leading surgical robotics innovation companies, to build a deeply integrated innovative international platform in the field of surgical robots for the union of technological development and industry. In April 2020, MicroPort® entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Robocath, a French cardiovascular robotic system company, and agreed to form a China-based joint venture company to manufacture and assemble robotic systems, and research and develop next generation systems as well as artificial intelligence technologies, in order to expedite the introduction of the vascular robotics platform into the China market. In May 2020, MicroPort® entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Singapore-based NDR Medical Technology (“NDR”) and established a China-based joint venture company to market, manufacture and jointly develop NDR’s products in the Greater China. The Automated Needle Targeting (ANT) robotic system developed by NDR is indicated for use in percutaneous lung biopsy and percutaneous nephrolithonomy (PCNL) procedures. The partnership is expected to further expedite the product planning of MicroPort® in the field of percutaneous puncture robotic system.
With the continual growth of the global surgical robotics industry, the surgical robotic system market is rapidly expanding. Currently, the commercialization of endoscopic surgical systems is the most developed, with the single product revenues accounting for more than 87% of those of the overall robotic surgical systems. The aggregated installation of endoscopic surgical systems has surpassed 5,600 units worldwide. The joint replacement surgical system has emerged as the next surgical robotic system on the cusp of large-scale commercialization, with global installations over 1,000 units so far. The markets for the surgical robotic systems in the fields of vascular intervention, natural orifice and percutaneous puncture are also in rapid development. According to data from Global Market Insight, the global surgical robotic system market will grow at a CAGR of 24.4% from 2018 through 2024, with an estimated market size of 130 billion yuan in 2024.
Dr. Alex He, General Manager of MicroPort® MedBot, commented, “After years of dedicated development, MicroPort® MedBot has developed into an innovative platform company with international planning for multi-specialty surgical robotic solutions. This round of strategic investment will bring in more resources for the company’s research and development, manufacturing, and future industrial expansions, which will further elevate the company’s capabilities. I believe that the upcoming approvals and launches of the company’s major devices will promote more integrated intelligent surgical solutions for the treatment of more diseases threatening human health.”
Mr. Martin Sun, Chairman of MicroPort® MedBot, commented, “The surgical robotic system has major strategic significance with respect to the development of remote, precise, minimally invasive, customized, and intelligent procedures. This round of financing will bring necessary financial support for the steady listing, large-scale industrialization, and marketing of the company’s surgical robot solutions. Meanwhile, the Group’s strong technological innovation, business synergy, and global market and academic resources, especially the modern corporate governance system introduced after the introduction of new investors, will help MicroPort® MedBot’s research and development and commercialization enter a new phase of rapid development, and this will promote the large-scale utilization of surgical robotic systems and benefit more patients.”