Helping human surgeons is one of the biggest areas of investment and specialization in healthcare robotics. Neocis Inc. today said it has raised $72 million in Series D financing. The Miami-based company said it plans to use the funding to continue developing its Yomi robotic system for assisting dental implant surgery.
Alon Mozes, Ph.D., and Juan Salcedo founded Neocis 2009. They have brought more than 20 years of surgical robotics experience, including at MAKO Surgical, to the company. The company claimed that Yomi is the first and only robot-assisted surgical system for the dental industry with approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“As early pioneers of robotic orthopedic surgery technology, we are excited to bring robotics to the world of dental surgery,” stated Mozes, co-founder and CEO of Neocis. “This latest round of funding will allow us to expand the reach of our robotic-assisted surgical system and fuel further development of Yomi’s technology platform to deliver increased value to every dental office in the country.”
Yomi designed for precision
Since 2000, more than 6 million robotic-assisted surgeries have taken place across multiple medical specialties including cardiovascular, neurology, and orthopedics. But despite the level of precision required for dental surgery, dentistry has not previously been able to benefit from this revolutionary technology, said Neocis.
Successfully placing dental implants requires careful pre-operative planning and a high degree of accuracy and precision to avoid critical anatomical structures and provide the best outcome for the patient. The traditional technique requires a surgeon to use a freehand approach with no guidance and to create an invasive flap, which exposes the bone and is the main source of pain and discomfort for the patient.
Yomi uses haptic robotic guidance and is a computerized navigational system intended to provide assistance in both the planning (pre-operative) and the surgical (intra-operative) phases of dental implantation surgery, said Neocis. It provides software to preoperatively plan dental implantation procedures, followed by navigational guidance of surgical instruments during surgery to carry out the surgical plan exactly.
Yomi can be used for flapless dental implant procedures, which is a minimally invasive surgical approach. Such approaches have been proven to lead to faster surgery, faster recovery, and less pain for the patient, Neocis said.
To date, Yomi has been used to place more than 2,700 dental implants, according to the company. Yomi is also being used at two leading dental schools — Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine and the West Virginia University School of Dentistry — to help train the next generation of implant dentists with the latest in robotic technology.
“It is exciting to finally have the power of surgical robotics available in the field of dentistry,” said Dr. Scotty Bolding, a Yomi Pioneer and leading oral surgeon based in Fayetteville, Ark. “I have been placing dental implants for over 30 years, and I have never experienced the precision or accuracy that was demonstrated with Yomi. There is no doubt in my mind that Yomi will set the standard of care for a variety of dental procedures and become a critical part of every dental practice.”
Neocis gets support to grow
DFJ Growth led the financing round, with participation from Vivo Capital and existing investors Mithril Capital Management, Norwest Venture Partners, Section 32, and surgical robotics pioneer Fred Moll. Neocis has raised more than $120 million in financing to date, including $30 million in July 2019.
“As the only FDA-approved surgical robotics system for dentists and oral surgeons, Neocis is uniquely positioned to deliver innovative approaches for practitioners that improves outcomes for patients,” said Randy Glein, co-founder and partner at DFJ Growth. “Everyone wins with Yomi, as it brings dentistry and oral surgery into a better future.”
“Unlike other areas of medicine, dentistry has not benefited from advances in robotics technology – leaving a huge opportunity for innovation,” said Jocelyn Kinsey, partner at DFJ Growth. “Neocis’ unique technology and vast experience in surgical robotics, gives the company a tremendous first-to-market advantage to address the needs of this large and growing category.”