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Virutal incision

Dmitry Oleynikov, a professor and surgeon at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, operates a surgical robot last year while Shane Farritor, an engineering professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, adjusts the camera on the surgical subject. The two developed the robot for minimally invasive surgeries.

A Lincoln-based medical device company on Tuesday announced the largest venture capital investment in a local company not named Hudl.

Virtual Incision, which makes a surgical robot, said it raised $18 million in a Series B round of investment. Series B investments are second-stage venture capital investments and are considered less risky than earlier rounds of funding.

The round was co-led by new investor Sinopharm Capital, the private equity fund initiated by Sinopharm Group, China’s largest health care company, and existing investor Bluestem Capital, with participation from PrairieGold Venture Partners and others.

This financing will support the company’s 510(k) premarket notification submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its next-generation miniaturized robotically assisted surgical device, which is designed to enable physicians to perform less-invasive general surgery abdominal procedures that today are usually performed via large, open incisions.

“Closing this round of financing launches the development of our miniaturized surgical robot toward our next key milestones, including submission to the FDA for market clearance,” John Murphy, president and CEO of Virtual Incision, said in a news release. “We sincerely appreciate the support from all of our investors, who clearly understand the tremendous potential of our surgical robotics program and provide vital input to our team and company.”

The company, which was co-founded in 2006 by Shane Farritor, a professor of engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Dr. Dmitry Oleynikov, a professor of surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, performed its first successful surgery, a colon resection, with the robot last year. That came just a couple of months after it moved into Nebraska Innovation Campus.

The $18 million investment is the largest for any Lincoln-based tech company in recent history, with the exception of Hudl.

The sports video-editing software maker got a $72.5 million investment in 2015 and another $30 million investment in July.

Virtual Incision received a previous $11.2 million investment in 2015.

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