Augmedics' new-look leadership set to disrupt the spine industry

Alan Condon -  

Augmedics, developer of the Xvision augmented reality spine surgery system, began 2022 with a new CEO and recently added former Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson executives to its leadership team to help take the company to the next level.

Eight key developments at Augmedics:

1. Former Medtronic and Boston Scientific executive Kevin Hykes took over as president and CEO of Augmedics in January.

2. CFO Raj Asarpota was appointed in September 2021. He has a wealth of experience in the financial sector, including roles at NuVasive, GE and Life Technologies.

2. In March, Augmedics added former DePuy Synthes global spine president Nadav Tomer to its board of directors and former Medtronic executive Reed Krider as chief marketing officer.

3. Neurosurgeon James Lynch, MD, performed the first spine surgery with Xvision using the Perc Pin in September 2021. The Perc Pin helps keep the patient marker in a surgeon's field of view while avoiding the surgical site and reduces the incision size for percutaneous procedures.

4. Stryker's former global president of spine Bradley Paddock was named independent chair of Augmedics' board in July 2021. He has more than 25 years of experience in the medtech industry and is president and CEO of CeQur SA, which focuses on insulin delivery devices.

5. Rick Anderson was named executive chair of the board in July 2021. He has more than 30 years of experience in investing and executive leadership, with previous roles at Johnson & Johnson and ConvaTec. He is also chair of Revival Healthcare Capital, a private equity firm in Austin.

6. In May 2021, Kornelis Poelstra, MD, PhD, director of the Robotic Spine Institute of Las Vegas, performed the first spine surgery that combined AR with a surgical robot. Dr. Poelstra used Xvision and Medtronic's Mazor X robot to perform the procedure and believes enabling technologies such as robotics and augmented reality are "just beginning to scratch the surface" in spine surgery.

7. In March 2021, Augmedics raised $36 million in an oversubscribed series C financing with the help of Israel-U.S. investors, according to a March 30 news release. The series C financing comes eight months after Augmedics closed a $21 million series B financing. The total funding is now $63 million.

8. Xvision was named one of the best inventions of 2020 by Time magazine in November 2020, six months after Frank Phillips, MD, of Chicago-based Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, performed the first minimally invasive augmented reality-assisted spine surgery with the device.

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