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Yokneam-based ForSight Robotics has announced it has completed a $55 million Series A round to advance the world’s first surgical platform for fully robotic cataract surgery: ORYOM.

The funding will be used to accelerate the development of the ForSight’s ORYOM platform in clinical trials.

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ORYOM – which means “daylight” in Hebrew – leverages cutting-edge technologies in microsurgical robotics, computer visualization, and machine learning.

The Adani Group led the funding round alongside existing investors Eclipse Ventures and Mithril Capital. A number of new investors, including Provenio Capital, Precision Capital, Reiya Ventures, the Ljungstrom family office, and other prominent private investors also joined the round.

Following an initial $10 million mega-seed round last year, the company advanced its technological capabilities and doubled in size.

The ORYOM platform has already been used successfully in multiple cataract procedures on an animal eye model by a number of ophthalmic surgeons, the company said in a release.

In addition to earlier financing, the company has been awarded several grants from the Israel Innovation Authority’s Companies Incentive Program and has built a top-notch executive team to lead mechanical engineering, computer vision, product design and software development. The company is expanding its technical team, and is actively hiring highly skilled, impact-driven engineers across the mechanical, software and hardware fields.

Cataract surgery is the most common ophthalmic surgical procedure with approximately 28 million such operations worldwide per year. According to the US National Institutes of Health, more than 25 million Americans suffer from cataract. There are hundreds of millions of cataract patients around the world.

The platform will automate ophthalmic surgery to treat the diseases underlying preventable blindness with an intuitive platform, while employing superhuman submillimeter accuracy – 10 times more accurate than the human hand – to deliver top consistency for extremely safe surgeries with optimal refractive outcomes.

“We are pleased to be able to advance our technology with this investment to bring robotics into the world of ophthalmic surgery to help millions of patients who have to wait unnecessarily for procedures while their eyesight deteriorates,” says ForSight Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Dr. Daniel Glozman.

“Our goal is to democratize this highly sophisticated procedure, enabling patients around the world to easily access the treatment that can restore their vision.”

Timely ophthalmic microsurgery can prevent many of the leading causes of blindness. However, ophthalmic surgery is intricate and complex, requires years to master and there is a shortage of skilled ophthalmic surgeons. According to the British Journal of Ophthalmology, affluent nations have 72 eye surgeons per million people, while low-income countries average only 3.7 per million.

An estimated 2.2 billion people worldwide have a vision impairment. This burden is estimated to cost $3 trillion annually in lost productivity, healthcare, and social care, according to a study published by the Global Public Health Journal.

Dr. Fred Moll and Mr. Rony Abovitz are members of the company’s strategic board, and Prof. Moshe Shoham is the company’s co-founder and chief scientific officer.

Together they have also formed medical robotic companies such as Intuitive Surgical, Mako Surgical, and Mazor Robotics. Dr. David Chang, Prof. Boris Malyugin, Dr. Elizabeth Yeu, Dr. Sam Garg, Dr. Vance Thompson, and Dr. Modi Naftali comprise the company’s clinical board.

The company is working on other preventable ophthalmic diseases that can also benefit from the accuracy of a robotics platform and advanced visualization, such as retinal diseases and glaucoma among others.

“We are delighted for the opportunity to invest in ForSight, who are transforming the medical landscape with their offering,” said Jeet Adani, Vice President, Group Finance, Adani Group.

“We see this as a strategic investment with synergies as part of our healthcare business ambitions.”

Dr. Joseph Nathan, ForSight Robotics Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer adds, “With the advancement of computing power, AI, and miniature mechanics, better access to healthcare will be made possible. Our goal is to work with industries across different geographies in order to benefit as many vision-impaired patients as possible.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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