CMR Surgical and LifeHealthcare move towards commercialisation in Australia following the successful launch of the next-generation surgical robotic system, Versius® into the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), with further NHS hospitals scheduled to introduce the system in 2020.
Since its introduction into NHS Lothian in Edinburgh, Scotland and Milton Keynes University Hospital in England, Versius has been used to perform a range of colorectal surgeries, helping to treat patients with serious bowel disease or bowel cancer. Versius is designed to help increase the uptake of minimal access surgery (MAS), offering a number of potential benefits compared to open surgery, including the ability to reduce rates of infection, pain and scarring.[i] MAS – also referred to as keyhole or laparoscopic surgery – is also linked to faster recovery in hospital, with fewer post-operative bed days required for recovery.[ii] The introduction into the NHS has the potential to deliver a cost-effective and versatile robotic assisted minimal access surgery programme for the health system.
Dr Tracey Gillies, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said: “We are delighted to be creating history and to be at the very forefront of medical science. Our team at the Western General Hospital are the first in Europe and among only a handful in the world to pioneer this new type of robotic surgery. This is a really exciting development and is a credit to the team, who are determined to push boundaries to provide the best patient care possible.”
With one of the largest surgical robotics markets in the world, CMR Surgical and LifeHealthcare will now work towards commercialising Versius in Australia. Versius has secured Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval for use in general surgery, gynaecological surgery, and urological surgery, and is now included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) register+, paving the way for its entry into a leading surgical innovators market. Per Vegard Nerseth, Chief Executive Officer, CMR Surgical commented: “We’re thrilled to be working towards launching in Australia. Australia is the home of surgical innovation and we see a strong place for Versius. The introduction of Versius to the Australian market is part of our wider mission to bring minimal access surgery to everyone around the world who needs it, and we look forward to working with LifeHealthcare in what we anticipate to be a game changing year for surgical robotics in Australia.”
Matt Muscio, Chief Executive Officer, LifeHealthcare commented: “The success of the launch of Versius into the NHS cements its suitability for the Australian market. We are excited that the TGA has registered Versius and included the system on the ARTG. Australia has always been an early adopter of new technology, making it an ideal early market for Versius. We anticipate strong demand for Versius and look forward to working with hospitals and surgeons to bring this transformative new technology to the market.”
CMR Surgical and LifeHealthcare are planning to install Versius into early adopting hospitals in Australia in 2020.
— ENDS —
+The TGA, a part Australian Government’s Department of Health, is responsible for the regulation of therapeutic goods in Australia. The ARTG is a register of therapeutic goods approved by the TGA that can be lawfully supplied in Australia.
The Versius Surgical Robotic System
Versius resets expectations of robotic surgery by providing a versatile system that is portable, transportable and affordable. This is made possible because of its elegant form factor, modular design and individually cart-mounted arms. Versius is able to move between operating rooms and even hospitals/clinics and gives the surgical team excellent access to the patient at all times.
Biomimicking the human arm, Versius allows surgeons the freedom of port placement, but with the benefits of small fully-wristed instruments. With 3D HD vision, easy-to adopt instrument control and a choice of ergonomic working positions, the new open surgeon console has the potential to reduce stress and fatigue and extend the careers of surgeons.
LifeHealthcare is a leading independent provider of healthcare solutions in Australia and New Zealand bringing healthcare professionals innovative medical devices by partnering with world class companies who share the vision of innovation and making a real difference to people’s lives.
LifeHealthcare has been recognised as one of the Financial Times 1,000 High Growth Companies in Asia-Pacific. In May 2018 LifeHealthcare was acquired by Australasia’s largest private equity fund, Pacific Equity Partners, a market leader that has been recognised as a Top 20 Consistent Performer Globally by Prequin. For further information, please visit www.lifehealthcare.com.au.
About NHS Lothian
NHS Lothian is the UK’s second largest health authority, has 21 hospitals, 126 GP practices, 180 community pharmacies, 173 dental practices and 112 ophthalmic practices. NHS Lothian provides a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services for the populations of Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian. It also provides many services for patients in the Borders and in Fife and is a national centre of expertise for some specialties provided to people across Scotland. NHS Lothian has an annual budget of £1.6 billion and employs approximately 26,000 staff.
About Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) NHS Foundation Trust is a medium sized district hospital that provides a full range of acute hospital services and an increasing number of specialist services to the growing population of Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas. With around 550 beds and employing more than 4,000 staff, the hospital sees and treats appropriately 400,000 patients each year comprising of both outpatient and emergency attendances.
MKUH is a digital pioneer and one of 18 hospitals named as a ‘fast follower’ of NHS England’s Global Digital Exemplars programme. Versius is just one of a number of digital innovations that is helping to improve the lives of both patients and staff in Milton Keynes.
About CMR Surgical Limited
CMR Surgical is a British private limited company developing the next-generation robotic system, Versius, for minimal access surgery.
The vision behind CMR Surgical is to make minimal access surgery universally accessible and affordable, transforming the existing market for surgical robotics while also addressing the six million people who still undergo open surgery each year.[ii]
Global annual revenues for robot-assisted minimal access surgery are presently approximately $4 billion and are anticipated to reach $20 billion by 2025.[iii]
CMR Surgical, formed in 2014, has its headquarters in Cambridge, United Kingdom and is backed by an international shareholder base of specialist and generalist investors.
[i] Cooper et al BMJ. 2015;349
[ii] McWilliams, Andrew. (2009, March). The Market for Minimally Invasive Medical Devices. BCC Research, p.14
[iii] Industry Forecast, Accuray Research