New Delhi-based SS Innovations, promoted by renowned robotic cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Sudhir P Srivastava, will commercially launch India's first and cheapest in the world general robotic surgery system within the next 4-6 months.
SS Innovations is planning to make 100 units this year of the multi arm novel 'Mantra' Surgical Robotic System indigenously developed over the last three years. Plans are to make and sell over 1,000 units within the next five years. The company has so far invested Rs 300 crore and is planning to invest another Rs 1,000 crore to scale up production, Dr Sudhir P Srivastava, Founder, Chairman and CEO of SS told Business Today.
"We are planning to sell our units at Rs 4-Rs 5 crore, whereas robotic syrgery systems like Da Vinci, which controls almost the entire global market, sells at Rs 15-Rs17 crore per unit. So far only 70-80 robotic units are there in India and with our system going to be available at one third of the cost with better quality and features, we are getting numerous inquiries and proposals," he said.
SS Innovations has done clinical validation of the machine and is planning to start a global trial. "We have got registration from the Drug Controller of General of India (DCGI) and have 36 months to submit clinical data. During this period, we can sell this and are also planning a global trial of the machine for approval in markets like the US and Europe", said Dr.Srivastava, who has done over 1400 robotic surgeries and trained several doctors in the US, before returning to India with dreams of making a surgical robotic company. More than 80 per cent of the machine is indigenously sourced and assembled from a panel of vendors, except for some key parts like motors, he said.
The development is significant considering the fact that less than 6,000-6,500 robotic surgical systems have been globally installed in the last two decades . Da Vinci robots, manufactured by California-based Intuitive, are the market leader with over 5,600-5,700 units. With many patents of Intuitive has started expiring, new companies are entering the field.
CMR Surgical, a UK based company behind surgical robotic system Versius, has started selling since last year in markets like the UK, India, Italy and France. Johnson & Johnson's general surgery robot system Ottava is expected to start first-in-human studies by 2022. J&J was working on general surgery robotics with Google's parent company Alphabet's life sciences research arm Verily through a joint initiative called Verb Surgical. In December, J&J had bought out Verily's stake in Verb Surgical. The world's largest medical device company Medtronic had launched its Hugo RAS system in 2019. About a dozen global medical devices companies are also selling specific robotic surgery systems for knee and spine, cardiac surgeries etc., said sources.
Dr Srivastava said potential is huge as currently less than 70-75 hospitals out of India's 40,000 plus hospitals have installed robotic surgery units. Similarly, 19,000 hospitals are there in India's neighbouring countries and less regulated markets. SS is planning to tap this opportunity, he said.