A French surgical-robotics company in Montpellier, “AcuSurgical”, has announced a Series A funding of around €5.75 million for an advanced robotic microsurgical platform for the treatment of retinal diseases. The funding was led by institutional investors Merieux Partners and Supernova Invest and the round of investment aims to finance upcoming clinical trials and CE mark certification. The company was founded in 2020 and focuses on the use of advanced robotics to conduct retinal microsurgery in a safer and more accessible way. The key executives included Dr. Christoph Spuhler, Prof. Yassine Haddab and Prof. Philippe Poignet, robotics experts, and Prof. Philippe Gain and Prof. Gilles Thuret, retinal surgeons at the Saint-Etienne University Hospital.
According to the company, the proceeds of the Series A financing are aimed to conducting clinical trials and obtaining regulatory approval with vitreoretinal surgery as the first indication. AcuSurgical designs and builds a “robotic surgical assistant dedicated to the treatment of retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affecting over 300 million patients worldwide including one in three Europeans aged over 70”. Behind the company, the innovation was designed in collaboration with the LIRMM robotics laboratory, a joint research unit of the University of Montpellier and the CNRS (France) and vitreoretinal surgeons at the Jean Monnet University in Saint-Etienne (France).
The company said that retinal surgeries may represent an “annual global market of 1.6 million procedures”, currently performed by a limited number of specialized surgeons. The company’s robotic platform is engineered to increase the precision of current procedures, filtering tremor and “augmenting visualization with the aid of a telemanipulated robot, while the surgeon remains in complete control”. Following the achievement of the investment, the CEO and co-founder, Christoph Spuhler of AcuSurgical, stated that, “our ambition is to enable innovative treatments for retinal disease that will open new perspectives for the numerous patients who today are impacted by these debilitating retinal conditions and who currently have limited options for treatment. We’re proud of the confidence afforded to us by this strong group of investors. Their support will allow us to grow the team and reach key milestones towards certification and commercialisation of our innovative surgical robotics platform”.