Memic Innovative Surgery is merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal that will give it $360 million to make a play in the robotic surgery market.
In the increasingly congested market, Memic contends the small size of its device and its potential to enable more hysterectomies to be done vaginally are differentiators that will enable it to grow sales to $136 million in 2025.
FDA granted De Novo marketing authorization to the Hominis system in February, teeing Memic to target the U.S. gynecology market before expanding internationally and into new indications.
Robotic surgery has emerged as a focal point for the medtech industry, with big, diversified companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic and smaller specialists including Vicarious Surgical all working to carve out a piece of a market dominated by Intuitive Surgical. Amid the activity, Memic is betting it's spied an opportunity for its Hominis system.
Memic is pitching the device as the first FDA-authorized surgical robot with miniature arms that bend like human arms and have 360-degree articulation. The arms are attached to a system that is designed to be small enough to move from room to room.
The FDA authorization covers the use of the system in the removal of the uterus for non-cancerous conditions and removal of one or both fallopian tubes and ovaries. With 600,000 hysterectomies done in the U.S. every year, Memic sees the removal of the uterus as its biggest initial opportunity.
Intuitive is targeting the same indication, sharing details of a study that linked use of its device to improved outcomes and creating a stock presentation for surgeons to discuss the switch to robotic procedures. However, Memic argues the Intuitive approach, which entails making one or more small incisions in the belly, is inferior to vaginal hysterectomies.
Guidance from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states the “vaginal approach is preferred among the minimally invasive approaches.” A 2017 paper found 16% of outpatient hysterectomies in the U.S. are done vaginally. Memic said greater use of the vaginal approach is limited by anatomic features such as the lack of uterine prolapse and uterine size.
Hominis is designed to enable more vaginal surgeries. Memic said almost two-thirds of cases performed using the system would be challenging with current vaginal techniques, for example because the uterus with fibroids is equivalent to an 8 to 15 week pregnant uterus.
Memic is set to receive $250 million from the SPAC it is merging with, MedTech Acquisition Corporation, and a further $76 million through a private investment in public equity. When added to Memic’s existing cash, the transaction will leave it with the $360 million to invest.