Vicarious Surgical (NYSE:RBOT) continues to progress in the development of its Beta 2 robotic surgery platform, though supply chain disruption poses risks for the company’s timeline.
That appeared to be the big message out of the Waltham, Massachusetts–based surgical robotics company’s Q2 earnings report yesterday evening.
Vicarious Surgical’s technology uses proprietary human-like surgical robots combined with 3D visualization to transport surgeons inside the patient to perform minimally invasive surgery. CEO Adam Sachs noted during the company’s earnings call that updates to the previous Beta 1 system are focusing on ergonomic changes for surgeon comfort — and improved 3D visualization, sensing and motion capabilities. The idea is to enable the surgeon to move freely within the abdominal cavity with the system, he said.
“With significant and very positive feedback on the initial Beta 2 ergonomic prototypes, we have completed the Beta 2 design, and we are beginning the integration phase of the build,” Sachs said during the call, transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “This is our next step towards bringing our robotics platform to market and ultimately demonstrating its capabilities through a cadaveric eventual hernia procedure in a hospital setting, which we plan to share greater details around later this year.”
A month ago, Vicarious Surgical signed collaborative Center of Excellence agreements with Nashville, Tennessee–based HCA Healthcare and its 182 hospitals across 20 U.S. states and the United Kingdom — as well as University Hospitals Ventures, the innovation and commercialization arm of University Hospitals (UH) in northern Ohio.
Sachs said the agreements go much deeper than mere post-market surgeon training; they represent collaboration throughout the extensive development, clinical, verification, validation and launch phases of Vicarious Surgical’s robotic system.
Despite the strides the company is making, Sachs acknowledged that Vicarious Surgical has experienced limited semiconductor supply and shortages of chips and other hardware in recent months. “If these challenges continue, they can present a risk to our timeline.”
He added: “We continue to evaluate the details of our supply chain for opportunities to build internal redundancies and multi-source key components and enhance our product design to address constrained supply chain risk.”
For the quarter ended June 30, 2022, Vicarious Surgical saw an adjusted net loss of $19.1 million, or 16¢ per share. It was two pennies behind the 14¢ loss predicted by The Street. The company’s cash burn rate in Q2 was $15.7 million — with a projected full-year cash burn of $65 million to $75 million. The plan is to have roughly $100 million in cash and cash equivalents on hand by the end of the year.
BTIG analyst Ryan Zimmerman kept his Buy rating on Vicarious Surgical stock, even as he called out supply chain challenges as an unnecessary distraction: “We await RBOTs next clinical milestones, which include a potential demo of the system later this year at one of their Centers of Excellence.”
Investors reacted by sending RBOT shares down more than 8% to $4.06 apiece in after-hours trading. The following morning (Aug. 9), however, shares were up 2.1% at $4.53 apeice.