Singapore: Medical robotics firm Endomaster closes $14.6m Series B

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Visual from EndoMaster website.

Singapore-based medical robotics company EndoMaster has closed a S$20.5 million ($14.6 million) Series B funding round. No investors were disclosed. 

Among the largest investments in local medical technology (medtech) companies in the city-state, the Thursday announcement sees the firm, which has developed proprietary robotic technology and algorithms, preparing to launch its product in Europe in late 2018. The funding was initially reported by The Business Times

EndoMaster was developed by Prof Louis Phee from Nanyang Technological University and Prof Ho Khek Yu from National University of Singapore.

It has earlier received funding under the Strategic Research Programme for Biomedical Sciences Translational & Clinical Research (TCR), the S&T2010 TCR flagship programme for Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium, and NRF’s Proof-of-Concept grant scheme. It had also secured a grant for $373,000 from Spring Singapore in August 2012.

Among its existing investors are NTUitive Pte Ltd. and Japan’s Hoya Corporation, a Japanese manufacturing company for optical products listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The company, that is a spin-off by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS), aims to surpass S$100 million in revenue within five years of its product launching in European markets. 

The venture has developed a novel robotic-assisted surgical system that combines minimally invasive endoscopic surgery with intuitive robotic-assisted surgery. This enables surgeons to perform incision-less surgeries, which could previously be performed by open and laparoscopic surgery.

It works by using a flexible endoscope to reach the site of interest, with the surgeon controlling two robotic arms using two corresponding handles on a user console. These robotic arms act as an extension of the surgeon’s arms and can perform complex surgeries with precision and manoeuvrability due to the precise translation of dexterity and triangulation afforded by the system.

According to the company, this results in less trauma and no scarring of the patient, shorter procedure and healing time, and a significantly lower risk of complications. The system’s ease of use allows wider access to less experienced surgeons, and also translates to a higher patient throughput for hospitals.

The company reports that its device can reduce surgery time to less than an hour and has conducted clinical trials that cuts the complications rate to below 5 per cent.

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