The newly founded Bern-based startup LEM Surgical AG is developing the next generation of surgical robotic solutions for spinal surgery. The latest series A financing round led by the Ypsomed Group CEO, Simon Michel brings the startup to the next phase.
Approximately 54 cases per one million people in the United States, which equals about 18,000 new SCI cases each year, are reported annually and about 299,000 persons live with SCI, according to the recent estimate by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCICSC). Patients are two to five times more likely to die prematurely than those without SCI, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Spinal code surgeries can elevate the patients’ quality of life; however, the procedure is complex. While currently used surgical robots deliver promising results to patients, they are still limited in functionalities. “Current commercially available robotic solutions are limited in utilization and offer relatively small clinical value, hence their low adoption rate,” states Yossi Bar. “Our expert team of 20 individuals based in Bern, significantly progresses with the development of the ‘Sapien’ system, introducing game-changing capabilities and thereby offering significantly increased clinical utilization.”
Although LEM Surgical has held Sapien in stealth mode, the company has a fully functional product undergoing further advancements to accelerate the time to regulatory approvals. “We will reveal the product in less than one year”, says Yossi Bar, CEO of LEM Surgical to Startupticker. Upon securing validations, certifications and approvals, the startup will launch the product, targeting mainly the US market. Launching in Switzerland and other countries will follow.
LEM was founded in June 2021 by Stefan Weber (CEO, CAScination AG), Andreas Raabe (Director, Department of Neurosurgery, Inselspital Bern), Marco Matulic (CTO CAScination AG), Simon Michel (CEO, Ypsomed Group) and Yossi Bar (previously Director R&D at Mazor Robotics Ltd., sold to Medtronic in 2018). Weber acts as Chairman of the Board and Bar as Chief Executive Officer.
The cofounding team, led by Simon Michel and external investors, contributed to the company’s financing round. With the funds raised, LEM intends to develop its product further and prepare relevant documentation to be submitted to the US FDA in early 2024.
“The extraordinary composition of skills in the leadership team, and the experts on board convince me not only of the investment case but also that LEM will deliver truly beneficial solutions for patients and extraordinary value in the field of orthopaedic and especially spinal surgery,” states Simon Michel.