Karl Storz VentureOne is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Karl Storz SE, a maker of endoscopes and other medical instruments and devices. The family-owned company closely collaborates with surgeons and healthcare partners around the globe on technologies for minimally invasive procedures.
The agreement between the surgical robot maker and Karl Storz includes plans for marketing and development. Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based Asensus develops the Senhance surgical robot platform. It also develops the Intelligent Surgical Unit (ISU) for Senhance.
Asensus designed ISU as a real-time intraoperative surgical image analytics platform. It leverages augmented intelligence to help reduce surgical variability. Earlier this week, the company entered into a multi-year collaboration with Google Cloud on the ISU.
The partnership could mirror the deal made by Medtronic with Karl Storz more than three years ago. In June 2019, the company disclosed a partnership with Karl Storz to add its visualization components into Medtronic’s surgical robot. At the time, the company had yet to unveil its robot. It has since launched the Hugo robot-assisted surgery platform in a number of geographies and awaits U.S. clearance.
Details of the memorandum of understanding between Asensus and Karl Storz
The definitive agreements include Karl Storz’s intent to market and sell the Asensus ISU. It plans to do so as a standalone device together with its Image1 S imaging system and OR1 integration solution.
Asensus and Karl Storz also plan to work together to integrate the ISU into the latter’s laparoscopic vision systems. They also intend to jointly collaborate on the development of next-generation instrumentation. This technology would enhance both companies’ surgical platforms, according to a news release.
The companies have negotiations underway for the terms of the agreement. They expect to finalize definitive agreements within 90 days.
“We are thrilled to announce this MoU with Karl Storz, a leader in the field of advanced surgical visualization and instrumentation,” said Anthony Fernando, Asensus Surgical president and CEO. “By leveraging their extensive commercial network, their leading visualization systems and longtime instrumentation expertise, we can bring the tremendous value of augmented intelligence offered by the ISU to operating rooms around the world.
“Beyond the benefits of their commercial scale, the co-development of new instruments will combine two unique R&D teams at the forefront of their fields to ultimately deliver best-in-class instruments to surgeons.”
Stephan Abele, managing director of Karl Storz VentureONE, called the partnership “a natural fit.” He added that the companies share a vision for the future of digital surgery.
“We are very excited to bring the novel capabilities of the ISU to our customers, and look forward to working in tandem to bring innovative, patient-centric solutions to the market,” Abele said.