The start-up eCential Robotics raises 100 million euros to export its surgical assistance robot

The Grenoble-based start-up eCential Robotics, previously known under the name of Surgivisio, has just announced that it has raised nearly 100 million euros in equity, quasi equity and debt to support its industrial and commercial development.

The roundtable was led by Bpifrance, Sigma Gestion, Med-Innov, BNPParibas, Caisse d’Epargne Rhône Alpes and Crédit Agricole as well as the founders of the company. The last funding round, amounting to 10.7 million euros, dates back to March 2018.

Become a leader in surgical robotics
The ambition of eCential Robotics is clear: “become the market leader in digital surgery, imaging and robotics “, details the founder and CEO, Stéphane Lavallée. To achieve this, the company wants to consolidate its base in Europe on its main markets, France, Germany and Italy. It also hopes to enter the North American market, which requires approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US food and drug agency.

From an industrial standpoint, eCential Robotics claims that it will significantly increase its production capacities and invest heavily in innovative developments on new product lines. It also wants to recruit 50 people over the year 2021.

A solution that combines 3D imagery and navigation
Created in 2009, eCential Robotics has developed a real-time 3D imaging and surgical navigation solution allowing surgeons to follow their gestures directly within the 3D image. Specializing in spine surgery, the platform can be coupled to instruments from any manufacturer.

The system is composed of a console, an X-ray pole and an infrared camera and does not require any special arrangement in the operating room. The console has two navigation screens, one displays the last radiological images acquired in 2D, the other gives access to the functions of the machine, to 3D images, to navigation and to the patient’s file. It is also possible to control the machine via a tablet that can be used in a sterile environment. The hoop is motorized on five axes and promises to adapt its trajectory so as to move the source away from the patient in order to reduce exposure to the rays.

The machine is marketed with an instrument kit that contains fixation pins, to ensure the stability of the imaging and navigation instruments, and a navigation tracker that helps locate the patient in space. Each instrument has a QR Code allowing its recognition by the platform.

More than 1000 surgeries performed
The result of 8 years of research, the platform obtained CE marking in 2017, an essential label for marketing in the European Union. Eight units were sold, at a list price of around one million euros, and installed in France, Italy and Germany. Since then, more than 1000 surgeries have been performed with the help of this tool.

In France, the eCential Robotics system was, for example, used by a team from the orthopedics and sports trauma service of the University Hospital Center (CHU) in Grenoble in December 2017. The patient was successfully operated on for a double fracture of the sacrum.

A feature for pediatrics
In 2019, the Grenoble-based SME launched the marketing of its pediatric application which reduces the dose of X-rays, an essential option for young patients who are more sensitive to ionizing radiation and to the risk of cancer than adults.

The company designs and manufactures all of its products in France in the metropolis of Grenoble, in its offices and its 1100m² factory. It doubled its workforce between 2019 and 2020 and now has nearly 100 employees. It does not communicate on its turnover.


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