Chinese Surgical Robot Maker Jianjia Robots Picks Up RMB100M Series B

Baidu-backed Jianjia’s ‘Arthrobot’ is currently undergoing clinical trials

Chinese intelligent orthopedic surgical robot developer Jianjia Robots has raised a Series B round of over RMB100 million (US$14.62 million at current rates), according to a statement released by financial advisor to the deal Haoyue Capital.

The funding was raised from Beijing-based private equity firm Hillhouse Capital, Chinese pharma Fosun Pharma, and Chinese Internet company Baidu’s corporate venture arm Baidu Ventures, the statement said.

The 2018-founded company will utilize the fresh capital to facilitate the clinical registration of its existing joint replacement surgical robots as well as to develop new products, the statement noted.

Baidu Ventures had earlier led the startup’s Series A round at early this year with Haoyue Capital as the exclusive financial advisor to the deal. The round was aimed to enable clinical trials of Jianjia’s first joint replacement surgery robot called ‘Arthrobot’.

Joint replacement is a surgery performed to replace joints that are damaged or disabled with plastic or metal implants that function as artificial joints.

The statement noted that Jianjia’s Arthrobot is China’s first locally developed hip replacement surgical robot. The robot is able to execute precise positioning, polishing and prosthesis installation in the acetabular (hip joint socket) area of the body, as well as the femoral (around the femur) area.

“The intelligent surgical robot system, as a new capability platform to improve the quality and efficiency of surgical operations, has proven its huge clinical potential and will follow the rapid development of AI perception [and] computing,” a Baidu Ventures executive said in the statement.

The executive noted that Jianjia emerged out of China’s 863 Program also known as the State High-Tech Development Plan. The 863 Program was a state-backed program promoting domestically developed technologies. The program culminated in 2016.

A spokesperson from Fosun Pharma noted in the statement that joint surgery robots help to overcome uncertainties in joint replacement surgery, enabling them to be minimally invasive and consistent with surgical results.

“At present, the success of joint replacement surgery depends very much on the experience and surgical skills of doctors,” Jianjia’s Founder Xu Jing said, adding that joint surgery robots will be a “breakthrough to improve the accuracy of prosthesis implantation and boost the volume of joint replacement surgery.”

He added that Jianjia “will accelerate [the development of] orthopedic surgery robots with the help of capital. The clinical trials and R&D process of the company will build a surgical robot platform enterprise and become a supplier and leader of overall solutions and personalized diagnosis and treatment for orthopedic surgery in China.”

While one report suggests that the global market for surgical robots is expected to grow to $12.6 billion by 2025, only about 2.5 times its 2017 market value of $5.1 billion, another notes that growth in this industry may, in fact, decline in 2020, dropping to $4.84 billion, due to COVID-19.

The technology is still young and costly, but is expected to drive major transformation in the healthcare industry as it evolves.

Header image by Photos Hobby on Unsplash

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