Apollo Endosurgery Inc.
This article was originally published in Start Up
The first chapter of natural orifice surgery begins with the Apollo Group, a group of world-renowned gastroenterologists and surgeons who were frustrated with the pace of innovation in gastroenterology. They believed that there ought to be a better way to take advantage of the natural orifice access and the flexible endoscopy platforms with which they were familiar, to do more interventional procedures. The efforts of the group resulted in a pooled set of intellectual property, which became the basis of start-up Apollo Endosurgery. Apollo aims to provide surgical instrumentation designed specifically for NOTES, to help the field learn just how far minimally invasive surgery can go.
You may also be interested in...
H.I.G. Capital announced the closing of BioVentures II, a diversified life science venture fund focusing on drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics.
Minimally invasive surgery, performed through a number of ports to create access and enable visualization, manipulation, and dissection, promised to revolutionize surgical techniques two decades ago, but ultimately fell short of changing the way surgeons perform the majority of surgical cases. Now, the next generation in minimally invasive surgery sees single-port surgeries and natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgeries (NOTES) gaining momentum. TransEnterix aims to operate in both cases, with a novel approach that not only allows surgeons greater dexterity in performing complex procedures, but also enables them to do surgical cases through a single access port, using the body's umbilicus
NOTES is an experimental alternative to conventional surgery that uses a combination of endoscopic and laparoscopic techniques to access the peritoneal cavity through the wall of the alimentary canal or other natural orifices, allowing surgeons and gastroenterologists to perform complex surgery without leaving any visible scars. In the last few years, NOTES research, procedures, patents, and venture capital investment have increased exponentially. And although the field is still unproven, the rush to NOTES is being fueled by several important motivators, including the perceived advantages over conventional surgery, patient demand, and a worldwide market potential believed to range between $2 and $4 billion per year.