Interventional Systems announces endourology venture with surgical robot tech


Interventional Systems has announced a new venture—called LARC Robotics—aimed at using surgical robotics for percutaneous renal access.

Austria-based Interventional Systems said the unit simplifies percutaneous renal access in percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) procedures. This minimally invasive surgical technique helps to manage kidney stones.

The company said in a news release that Udo Nagele (Landeskrankenhaus Hall Hospital, Hall in Tirol, Austria) led the first surgeries at Landeskrankenhaus Hall. It plans to spend the coming months validating technical and clinical claims in both the USA and Europe.

Interventional Systems launched this venture just two weeks after a personnel change in its C-suite. New CEO Pedro Costa said the company launched LARC Robotics “after understanding the market need”. Its robot simplifies gaining renal access as it allows for targeting under real-time fluoroscopy. LARC Robotics intends to offer it in combination with a digital platform for visualising patient-specific, high-fidelity, 3D reconstructions of diagnostic scans. The platform also features a data and analytics module for post-procedural analysis.

“We realized that, despite its superior stone clearance rates when compared to other techniques, PCNL adoption was still low,” said Interventional Systems CEO Pedro Costa. “This is because obtaining adequate renal access is not a trivial task and it relies greatly on the experience of the urologist performing the procedure. Adequate pre-operative planning and intra-operative robotic assistance are sure to help mitigate these problems.”

Costa said the company wants to help urologists expand their practices and begin offering PCNL treatments. LARC Robotics sees a “clear opportunity” for adoption of a flexible, small-footprint surgical robot in this space. This robot does not require workflow adaptations. It comes at a more cost-effective price point compared to other urology robots, Costa added.

LARC Robotics already has clinical validation underway, according to Interventional Systems.

“Everything went as expected with the surgeries that we already performed,” said Costa. “It was “plug-and-play”, and the benefits of robotic-assisted targeting were evident. “We’re working with Nagele’s team, one of the most seasoned and high-functioning teams I’ve ever had the chance to witness, and it is a pleasure and a source of great learnings to continue developing the platform.”

The platform already holds CE mark and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for fluoroscopy-guided procedures. Interventional Systems said it began development for supporting ultrasound guidance as well.

“We know exactly what is coming. The technology is already in place, feasibility is finished, and we are focused on ensuring the entire market can adopt our robot without compromising their preferred equipment or imaging device,” says Srđan Milosavljevic, chief technology officer at Interventional Systems. “Our main focus now is empowering urologists with a tool to gain appropriate percutaneous access, with fluoroscopy, ultrasound or both. We expect ultrasound compatibility to be available during 2024, and we’ll work from there towards incrementally resolving other challenges in the workflow.”

LARC Robotics is based out of New York. It plans to make its products available for public demonstration next month at the American Urology Association Annual Meeting.


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