Titan Medical (TSX:TMD; OTCQB:TITXF) has well positioned itself for investors interest in the robotics market–particularly with its emphasis on robotic medical application. Titan’s primary focus is on surgically capable robotics on a smaller scale, this way its product the SPORT Surgical System may be able to travel more easily to remote areas where medical demands are still pressing.
In his latest market report on Titan Medical, analyst Chris Lewis from Roth Capital said that while there will be “inherent development and regulatory risks” in the road ahead for SPORT system, the company is “an early but promising play” in one of the highest growing markets for the medical technology sector.
Lewis also pointed to the fact that this year the company is focusing on design engineering this year in order to prepare for its US Food and Drug Administration 510(k) application and CE Mark submission in 2018.
“Titan estimates a minimum of $75 million of additional capital will be required to fund development work through US and European regulatory submissions, which are projected by year-end 2018,” Lewis said in a May 12, 2017 report.
With that in mind, the Investing News Network (INN) had the opportunity to catch up with David McNally, CEO of Titan Medical, to discuss:
- why Titan Medical’s technology can have a suitable future for smaller facilities all over the world; and
- what the outlook is in the robotic surgical market and the work of some of the company’s top competitors.The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. Read on to learn more about what McNally had to say.
INN: Why don’t we start with the Titan Medical’s recent announcement of getting approved for a European patent. Tell us about that.
David McNally: This patent is an important step for the company as we are rapidly evolving our technology and taking action to protect it. The most novel element of our technology that is evident in the recent US and European patent issuances are related to the articulation of our flexible end effectors and the association actuation mechanisms in the robot.
INN: Can you give me a broad idea of what the robotics surgery market looks like overall?
DM: A recent study projected that the surgical medical robotic marketplace would total $17.9 billion US in the year 2022. We are focused on the abdominal surgery application area of robots which today is dominated by one very successful company, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG). In their public information, Intuitive Surgical reported that over a quarter of a million abdominal procedures were performed in 2016 using their Da Vinci robot systems worldwide. We believe that the untapped market far exceeds that number of surgeries and we are determined to provide a product that is compact, versatile and may allow smaller hospitals and outpatient surgery centers to adopt robotics which may have been reluctant to previously.
INN: You mentioned this untapped market, by that you mean smaller medical facilities? Is that your ideal customer, bringing an international outlook to the treatment?
DM: Yes, while we acknowledge that we’ll need to demonstrate early on the performance of the system in key centers of excellence, which could include teaching hospitals. Ultimately we believe that the greater market adoption opportunity may be smaller facilities.
Benefits of Titan Medical: “greater patient satisfaction”
INN: What are the key advantages to your system in the area you’re focused in abdominal surgery?
DM: Compared to traditional minimally invasive surgery, the advantages anticipated by single incision surgery relate to less trauma associated with the reduction in the number of incisions in the body. We expect that there will be advantages not only with regard to potentially less pain and lower infection rates, but also greater patient satisfaction and, as one surgeon described it to me, a greater sense of well-being by having fewer incisions on their body.
INN: That’s what you are hoping to capitalize on, compared to your competitors?
DM: We believe that there is a market for both multiport and single port systems. With respect to our offering, we acknowledge that Intuitive Surgical is in early stages of releasing their own single port, single incision system known as the Da Vinci SP. Surgeons are telling us that the multi-articulating, snake-like end effectors of our system may provide for a more natural movement in suturing and the manipulation of tissue in the body versus alternative systems. Our focus is to provide a robotic surgery system that allows for an improved ergonomic experience for the surgeons and convenient operation of the patient cart by the bedside assistant.
An option that surgeons have expressed to be better suited for smaller facilities
INN: The main application of your system would be in direct participation with the medical officer, they would be in control of the procedure as it takes place?
DM: The surgeon is fully in control of the system as they operate it from the ergonomically designed work station, which also provides a three-dimensional, high-definition of the inside of the patient’s body on a flat panel display in real time. The surgeon is in complete control and comfort throughout even longer surgeries.
INN: What is the value proposition that Titan Medical poses to new investors?
DM: From an investment perspective, Titan Medical seeks to compete in a rapidly growing and very large robotic surgery market as confirmed by independent market research firms. Based on our evolving intellectual property portfolio, we believe that we are establishing a defensible position from a technology perspective. Based on surgeon feedback, we are also of the view that our design parameters are on target for what surgeons and operating staff demand in such robotic systems.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in contributed article. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.