Kiwi medtech Formus Labs raises $5 million to transform orthopedic surgery

A New Zealand medical technology start-up that has developed the world’s first automated 3D planner for joint replacement surgeries has raised $5 million.

The tour coincides with Formus Laboratories launches its orthopedic surgery planning solution that offers surgeons unprecedented insight into the preoperative planning process.

The investment was led by a New Zealand venture capital firm GD1 (Global from day 1), with the participation of Punakaiki Fund, Icehouse Ventures, Pacific Channeland Flying kiwis.

The company will use the funds to accelerate product development and for expansion in the United States. The regulator, the FDA, is expected to grant approval to Formus in the middle of the second quarter of 2022. The medtech company will officially launch its products in Australia and New Zealand this month.

Formus Labs has also partnered with Zimmer Biometat co-developing and marketing the Formus Hip in ANZ, as well as studying international markets for global expansion.

the startup, founded at the renowned Auckland Bioengineering Institute, tackles a $14 billion problem in orthopedics. Globally, 20% (1 in 5) knee replacements are unsatisfactory and 10% (1 in 10) of hip replacements require revision, which ends up costing the orthopedic industry $14 billion.

Founder and CEO of Formus Labs, Dr. Ju Zhang

Founder and CEO Dr. Ju Zhang said that IJoint replacement surgery is extremely technical and each procedure is unique as each patient requires parts of different sizes and positions. In addition to this, the process of accurately diagnosing, sizing and performing joint replacement surgery currently requires time-consuming manual imaging processing.

The Formus platform fully automates the joint replacement planning process, using artificial intelligence (AI) and biomechanics to produce fully interactive 3D models to determine the size and orientation required before a patient is discharged. enters the operating room. The software can deliver plans in 60 minutes and can be updated in real time, making same-day 3D planning a reality.

Dr. Zhang said it also allows surgeons to work on cases remotely in any hospital around the world, dramatically reducing patient wait times, improving overall workflow and ultimately creating better patient outcomes.

“Everyone knows someone who has had joint replacement surgery, but few know how complex, variable and expensive the process can be,” he said.

“Our goal is to make orthopedic surgery as easy as possible by equipping surgeons with the latest cutting-edge technology so that every joint replacement has a Formus plan that reduces the need for revisions, inspires confidence and facilitates better patient outcomes, at a lower cost.

John Kells, co-manager of GD1, said they’ve been following the medtech startup’s progress for some time.

“From the very first time we met Ju and the Formus team, we were impressed with the passion and vision to modernize a part of the continuum of care that is still terribly underserved,” he said.

“We are very pleased to support their essential mission in helping to provide cutting-edge, personalized, data-driven and globally scalable orthopedic care and look forward to the team achieving their goals. »

The company is rapidly expanding its team, both in ANZ and the US, including strategic experts in computer-guided orthopedic surgery, engineering, sales and marketing roles.


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