Ann Arbor-Based Robotics Company HistoSonics Raises $54 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● April 15, 2019

HistoSonics, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based non-invasive robotics platform company announced it has raised $54 million in Series C funding. This round of funding was led by Varian Medical Systems —- a global leader in radiation therapy and oncology solutions. And healthcare investors Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Lumira Ventures, Venture Investors, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board participated in this round along with several existing investors.

Robotics pioneer Fred Moll, MD (founder of Intuitive Surgical and former chairman/CEO of Auris Health) also joined in this round. Including this funding round, HistoSonics has raised more than $86 million.

With this round of funding, HistoSonics is going to use the proceeds to complete key regulatory and commercial milestones and expand development of its breakthrough platform. In conjunction with this round, Varian VP of Strategy and Business Development Greg Sorensen is joining the HistoSonics board. Lumira Ventures managing director Gerry Brunk also joined the board.

This round of funding follows a year of major milestones for the company. HistoSonics generated compelling early clinical evidence and continued to add deep domain experience along with adding industry leadership to its team.

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“We are very excited to be adding this group of experienced investment partners who share in our vision and mission,” said HistoSonics president and CEO Mike Blue. “RAST will offer transformative change for both patients and physicians and will help overcome many of the major limitations and side effects of today’s cancer therapies. It has also shown great promise to work synergistically with other therapies and platforms, such as drug and immunotherapy, a big focus of our preclinical work, as well as with other surgical robotic platforms. We are confident that RAST will provide an entirely new experience for patients and physicians, as well as a more cost-effective alternative that better aligns with value-based healthcare initiatives, and we are thrilled to have such a strong syndicate joining us on this journey.”

HistoSonics has designed a non-invasive platform called Robotically Assisted Sonic Therapy (RASTSM) — which combines advanced robotics and imaging with proprietary sensing in order to deliver personalized treatments with unparalleled precision and control. Plus it uses the science of histotripsy and focused sound energy to generate pressures that are strong enough to liquify and completely destroy targeted tissues at sub-cellular levels.

“We believe that the HistoSonics platform offers a unique solution and significant promise to treat patients with a number of different diseases across global markets and care settings,” added Sorensen.

HistoSonics has a mission to use proprietary technology in order to provide significant advantages to patients, including the ability of the treatment site to recover and heal quickly along with providing physicians the unique ability to monitor the destruction of tissue under continuous real-time visualization and control.

“Venture Investors has been an investor in HistoSonics from the start,” explained Venture Investors LLC Chairman of the Board and Managing Director Jim Adox. “And it is incredibly exciting to see the progress we have made over the past several years.  The vision of the company from the very beginning has been to develop a true platform that will revolutionize how patients are treated across a broad spectrum of diseases, including some of the most significant cancers, and it is very gratifying to now see the tremendous advancement of the system as it nears market launch.”

The science of histotripsy was originally developed at the University of Michigan and exclusively licensed to HistoSonics. And HistoSonics was founded by Jim Bertolina (former Chief Scientific Officer and now Monitoring Platform Director at Terumo Cardiovascular Group), Christine Gibbons (former COO and now independent consultant), and Thomas Davison (Advisor / Retired).