France: EIB provides €15 million to Robocath to support the development of its robotic solutions for treating cardiovascular disease
15 December 2021
This financing aims to accelerate the commercialisation of Robocath’s first R-One™ robot and support the development of its next generation of robotic solutions.
The operation is part of the European Guarantee Fund, an initiative to support innovative European small and medium-sized enterprises through long-term financing.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French medtech Robocath have signed a €15 million finance contract. This operation will strengthen the company’s finances, enabling it to pursue its growth plans and meet its targets, in particular the development of its next generation of robots.
Robocath has designed and developed a robotic solution to assist in interventional cardiology, specifically the treatment of coronary artery disease, which can cause heart attacks. This solution received the CE marking in March 2019 and is now marketed in Europe by Robocath. Known as R-One™, it is designed to provide a more comfortable setting for physicians performing procedures and to optimise and enhance the safety of coronary angioplasty. This medical procedure involves restoring the blood supply to the heart by inserting one or more stents into the arteries. This type of procedure is performed somewhere in the world every 30 seconds.
Robocath’s technological solutions are designed to operate with extreme precision, replicating and optimising physicians’ movements to enhance interventional procedures and make them safer. Using the robot also reduces the risk of exposure to X-rays for healthcare workers. The harmful effects of such exposure are now widely documented and include cancer, musculoskeletal disorders, cataracts, etc.
The next generation of robots will have additional functions covering almost all interventional cardiology procedures, and will expand the use of robot-assisted treatment to cover the peripheral vascular and neurovascular systems (for instance the treatment of strokes).
This financing meets the objectives of the European Guarantee Fund, which was set up by the European Union and is managed by the EIB. With €25 billion from the EU Member States, the fund aims to address the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing long-term financing to small and medium-sized enterprises whose growth plans may have been impacted by the health crisis.
CEO of Robocath Lucien Goffart said: “The EIB’s commitment to our company demonstrates the strength of our value proposition and the market potential of our robotic solutions. This financing will enable us to accelerate the clinical application of our first robot throughout Europe and facilitate the development of our next generation of robotic solutions.”
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said: “The EIB’s support for Robocath is fully in step with the EU bank’s mission of providing financing to promote the development of innovations that will benefit the global healthcare system. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are still the leading cause of death globally. The technologies developed by Robocath — whose first robotic solution has already been successfully used — therefore meet a real medical need, improving patient care and enhancing the efficiency of medical procedures and the safety of healthcare workers.”
About the European Investment Bank (EIB)
Innovation finance is among the EIB priorities, accounting for around a quarter of its €10 billion of financing in France in 2020. Operating in some 160 countries, the EU bank is the world's largest multilateral lender for climate action projects. In late 2020, the EIB Group adopted its very ambitious Climate Bank Roadmap. It includes a commitment to support €1 trillion in climate action and environmental sustainability investment by 2030 and to direct 50% of its funding to these two priorities by 2025.
Founded in 2009 by Dr Philippe Bencteux, Robocath designs, develops and commercialises robotic solutions to treat cardiovascular diseases. As an active player in the evolving medical robotics industry, these innovative solutions aim to make medical procedures safer thanks to reliable technologies, while complementing manual interventions. Based in Rouen, France, Robocath has more than 60 employees. It receives financing from international investment funds (Silk Road Fund, TUS-Holdings, CS Group), national investment funds (Anaxago, Go Capital, NCI, Normandie Participations, M Capital, Supernova Invest), banks (Caisse d’Epargne, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole), Bpifrance and a major industrial company in the healthcare sector (Microport).
The French growth company eCential Robotics, a medtech based in Grenoble specialized in surgical robotics, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have announced the signature of a €15 million financing agreement. The operation aims to finance research and innovation to help the company achieve its ambition of becoming the digital surgery and robotics standard of the operating room for neuro-musculo-skeletal surgery.
MMI SpA, an Italian company dedicated to improving clinical outcomes for patients undergoing microsurgery, has signed a financing agreement with the EIB granting access to up to €15 million ($17.74 million), to be deployed over the coming years to support its long-term financial strategy. The EU bank’s loan is backed by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe under which the EIB and the European Commission are working together as strategic partners, with the EIB’s financing operations boosting the competitiveness of the European economy.
2021 was another record year for the European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group) in France with almost €14 billion in financing provided for investment in the public and private sectors. The breakdown of the EIB Group’s activity in France in 2021 is as follows: €9.2 billion from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and €4.7 billion from the European Investment Fund (EIF), which focuses on financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).