Lung Health (朗合医疗), a surgical robot startup, announced on December 12 that it had completed a Series C round of funding worth some 100 million yuan (US$14 million), led by the investment arm of state-run Shanghai International Group and Jiuyou Fund.
Proceeds from this raise will be used toward consolidating the firm’s lead in flexible surgical robot through natural human cavities.
What’s more, the Shanghai-based company looks to accelerate the clinical registration and commercialization of its key product portfolios, so as to provide robot assisted surgery solutions to patients suffering from lung cancer and other diseases.
Founded in 2015, Lung Health started out as a high-tech developer of precise early detection of lung cancer.
It later diversified into minimally invasive surgical procedures on the lungs through natural cavities like the airway.
According to a study published in The Lancet, in 2020, about 2.39 million Chinese died from cancer, up 21.6% over 2005. The top three killers of Chinese were lung cancer, liver cancer and stomach cancer.
The growing incidence of lung cancer has been a key threat to the health of the country’s population.
In a survey released by National Cancer Center in February 2022, among the 4.57 million known new cancer cases in China in 2020, 820,000 were lung cancer, about 17.9% of the total.
In view of surging demand for lung cancer treatment and early detection of lung cancer, Lung Health has doubled down on R&D efforts. For instance, it partnered with leading research institutions like Tsinghua University.
The outgrowth of their tie-up is an independently developed, flexible endoscopic surgery robot capable of operating through human cavities, which came out in 2021.
Early intervention for lung cancer
Since then, the firm has branched out into other sub-fields of robot-assisted surgeries, with new releases like a bronchoscopy surgical robot that mainly targets the detection and treatment of cancer.
Its product line now consists of dozens of innovations and they have been installed and adopted in a myriad of top-tier hospitals across China, according to the company.
“Lung Health will set its sights firmly on the unique needs and clinical pain points of the Chinese market, and will continue to focus on minimally invasive targeted diagnostics through natural cavities,” said Dr. Ma Jiajun, founder and CEO of the startup.
“The goal is to benefit Chinese doctors and patients with affordable leading medical technology in the world.”
“Targeted diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer has immense market potential. We expect Lung Health’s flexible surgical robot can play a crucial role in the early intervention of diseases like lung cancer, solve clinical pain points and benefit more patients,” said a statement by Shanghai International Group, the lead investor.