Dear Friends, Colleagues and Stakeholders,
Imagine a world in which common surgical procedures can be performed without a single incision. Where patients feel no pain and are back on their feet within hours. Where hospital stays and medical bills are minimal. Where cross-infection is unknown.
Five years ago, we imagined such a world. It began with a casual conversation at a Berkeley Club of Hong Kong charity dinner, attended by internationally renowned surgeon Prof. Chung-Kwong Yeung (“CK”), now Chairman and CTO of the Company, and our Angel Investors.
We asked ourselves: what could we achieve in our professional lifetime that would make a real difference for generations to come? In answer, CK proposed a novel idea: could we change how common surgeries are performed, using completely new technology?
As it turned out, it was not just another novel idea, and NISI (“Non-Invasive Surgical Innovations”) was born.
NISI’s vision is to revolutionize modern surgery by making non-invasive surgical procedures a commonplace reality. We envision a world where we can heal without causing harm.
The future is now…
NISI represents the next frontier of non-invasive surgeries. One of our flagship products, a surgical robotic system known as IMAGINE, will be the first system in the world to offer truly non-invasive surgeries. Its main innovative features and state-of-the-art technologies include the ability to perform all intra-abdominal and pelvic surgeries via a natural orifice (the vagina or rectum), in a procedure referred to as Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (“NOTES”). Procedures using IMAGINE will involve significantly less post-operative pain, allow much faster recovery time and eliminate the risk of incision-associated complications. The wider benefits are shorter (and therefore less costly) hospital stays, fewer complications, and smaller or even no skin scars.
NISI’s patented technologies will be far more advanced than the surgical robotic systems on the market today. We continue to devote extensive applied research to our product development, in collaboration with our esteemed partners at the Innovation and Technology Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, University of Hong Kong (“HKU”), Hong Kong Polytechnic University (“PolyU”), University of Cambridge and maxon motor ag.
Looking back, and looking forward…
The journey since that dinner has been much like our team: exciting, inspiring, disciplined and driven. Our achievements have been both clinical and commercial – both will be critical to the ongoing success of this venture.
- In December 2015, we saw the first successful animal surgical experiment using an IMAGINE prototype, performed by the Department of Surgery at HKU.
- In March 2016, we held a joint press conference with HKU and PolyU on the results of successful animal surgical experiments by IMAGINE, and hosted the grand opening of our state-of-the-art research and development and training facilities at Songshan Lake, Dongguan, People’s Republic of China. This facility is central to the ongoing development of a whole suite of next-generation surgical products currently under development by NISI.
- In June 2016, we conducted our first cadaveric trial (performed by the Department of Surgery and Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at HKU), which allowed us to successfully evaluate the feasibility of a NOTES-capable IMAGINE prototype in performing transvaginal surgical procedures.
- In August 2016, we moved into our corporate headquarters located at Cyberport, Hong Kong.
- Our next milestone will be the completion of cadaveric and animal trials by 2018, and the independent certification of the results by our clinical partners. Clinical trials will then begin in 2019, in China and Hong Kong. We expect to have a commercialized product of IMAGINE available in China by 2022.
While the research and clinical work continues, the commercial aspect is also of vital importance.
- In August 2016, we completed a Pre-Series A round of financing with the issuance of HK$200 million in convertible preferred shares to our Angel Investors.
- Our intention is to conduct a Series A round of financing with selected professional investors in 2018, and to list on a recognized stock exchange by 2021.
We have strong faith in the potential of the rapidly growing healthcare industry in China, which will drive the future growth of NISI. IMAGINE has the potential to serve as a centerpiece for showcasing China’s world class research capabilities, and for promoting China as a premier medical hub in Asia and one of the world’s leading research centers in modern robotic technologies for surgery.
The future is in our hands…
This is an exciting time. NISI is more than just a surgical robotic startup; more than an idea. We are about making this idea a reality. We are here to make a positive impact on this world, and on the lives of many.
Our colleagues are innovative, committed, passionate and united, and we work every day to realize our vision of changing the world for the better. We are developing groundbreaking technologies that will revolutionize the medical device market. By integrating cutting-edge technologies with our surgical platforms, we can make conventional surgeries safer and less invasive, and provide significantly better care and recovery for patients.
Whether you are a surgeon using our creations, investing in NISI as a shareholder, working for NISI as an employee, or partnering with us in our research and development, we will work hard every day to make you feel proud of our success and confident in our future.
We have accomplished much in five years, and there is much more yet to achieve. I hope you will join us on this amazing journey. Go NISI!
David T. Wong
Founder, Managing Director & CEO