Shanghai, China – On May 6, 2020, MicroPort Scientific Corporation ("MicroPort®") announced that it has entered into definitive agreements with Singapore-based NDR Medical Technology Private Limited ("NDR") to lead a strategic investment of SGD8 million in NDR in a Series A round of funding. Other investors include SGInnovate and Kava Ventures. Meanwhile, MicroPort Urocare (Jiaxing) Co., Ltd. ("MicroPort® Urocare"), which is a subsidiary of MicroPort®, has also entered into an agreement with NDR to set up a joint venture to market, manufacture and locally develop NDR's products in the Greater China. The Automated Needle Targeting (ANT) robotics system developed by NDR is indicated for use in percutaneous lung biopsy and percutaneous nephrolithonomy (PCNL) procedures. The partnership is expected to further expand the product range of MicroPort® in the fields of respiratory intervention and urological intervention.
Founded in 2014, NDR is a medical device company incorporated in Singapore which has developed the Automated Needle Targeting (ANT) robotics system that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and medical image processing for needle positioning, used in the percutaneous puncture procedures for kidney, lung and other organs.
Mr. Alan Goh, CEO of NDR, said, "The strategic partnership with MicroPort® will help NDR gain a strong foothold in Asia and across the world. The joint venture between MicroPort® Urocare and NDR will integrate both parties' advantages in terms of technology and resources to help the ANT robotics systems enter the Chinese market.”
Lung cancer has the highest incidence among all tumors worldwide, especially in China. The incidence of lung cancer is also increasing every year and affecting more and more young adults. The increase in the survival rates of lung cancer patients depends not only on improvements in treatments but also on the availability of precise early diagnosis. Clinical results have showed that the 5-year survival rates of early-stage lung cancer patients who have timely diagnoses and treatment far exceed those of advanced-stage patients. Percutaneous biopsy is one of the most popular methods in the diagnosis of lung cancer. The ANT-C robotics system developed by NDR can assist physicians to perform CT-guided operations more precisely, which further boosts accuracy of needle biopsy, reduces complications and widens the access of precise diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer. In addition, the low-profile robot could be applied in multiple disciplines, which expands the use of the CT-guided procedure.
The ANT-X robotics system, another product developed by NDR, is indicated for percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) procedures. The precise needle positioning is the most critical step in PCNL. Compared to conventional manual needle positioning, the application of the ANT-X robotics system could reduce the complexity, shorten physicians' learning curve, increase procedure accuracy and minimize complications, which will benefit the patients with kidney stone and ureteral stone.
Mr. Yiyun Que, Chairman of MicroPort® Urocare, said, "The robotic-assisted ANT is a technology platform that has extensive applications. Considering the current trend for hierarchical healthcare system and AI-driven healthcare industry in China, we believe this technology will benefit more Chinese patients.”