Nov 30 2018
Auris was featured in an article in BioWorld MedTech, a news organization covering the medical technology industry. The article discusses how Auris recently raised $220 million in funding to back commercialization and development efforts for the Monarch Platform.
Auris is poised to become a third major player in robotic surgery, alongside Intuitive Surgical and Medtronic. Founded in 2007 by Dr. Frederic Moll, Auris has raised more than $700 million since it began. Auris also acquired Hansen Medical in 2016, another company started by Dr. Moll. Hansen's Magellan robotic system was used for intravascular, peripheral procedures.
Auris aims to make endoscopic procedures more precise and effective. Their first area of focus with the Monarch Platform is bronchoscopic procedures. The Monarch Platform gives physicians greater reach, control, and vision in the periphery of the lungs as compared to the more traditional, manual endoscopes physicians have used to diagnose lung cancer. The goal of this technology is to save lives by catching lung cancer in its early stages, when it is more easily treated.
In the future, Auris plans to enable diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer in a single procedure. In May 2018, Auris partnered with Johnson & Johnson's Neuwave Medical Inc. subsidiary, a part of its Ethicon Inc. business, to co-develop microwave ablation robotic tools to be delivered via bronchoscope.
The additional $220 million in funding will be used to help Auris move from "limited launch" to "full commercialization" of the Monarch Platform. With the Monarch Platform currently in use at several centers across the United States, more installs are planned by the end of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.
Though new robotic systems are a major expenditure and commitment for hospitals – the Monarch Platform is priced at about $500,000 – Auris believes that the platform will enable more efficient care that will justify the costs. The article quotes an Auris spokesperson, who said, "In addition to introducing new procedural efficiencies and streamlining care, Monarch is designed with cost in mind – alleviating the historical cost burden of surgical robotics. Hospitals seek to provide better value to their patients, which many define as superior outcomes at a manageable cost."
Auris's most recent financing was led by Partner Fund Management, with Wellington Management, D1 Capital Partners, Senator Investment Group, Mithril Capital, Lux Capital, and Viking Global Investors also participating. In a statement, Dr. Moll said of this recent investment, "The support of this group of world-class investors will be instrumental as Auris transitions into a commercial-stage company."