Broncus Medical, a developer of diagnostic and therapeutic technology for lung disease, has raised $15m in Series A financing from Intuitive Surgical.

The funding will be used by Broncus Medical to support further development and clinical trials of its technology to bronchoscopically navigate and access tumors anywhere in the lung.

The investment comes in three parts, including the $15m equity investment, a technology development collaborative agreement and a licensing deal that will allow Intuitive to access Broncus Medical’s intellectual properties.

Broncus’ properties can be used in the development of technologies focused on diagnostic and therapeutic lung procedures.

Broncus Holding chairman Michael Zhao said: “We are delighted to build a relationship with an industry leader like Intuitive, that shares our vision of bringing greater visibility and precision to lung cancer diagnosis and treatment, in order to benefit patients.”

The fund will be used in the product development of Broncus Medical’s suite of lung cancer technologies and to conduct clinical trials to support its commercial business.

It includes execution of on-going EAST 2 (Evaluation of the Archimedes System for Transparenchymal Nodule Access and a Post-Market study which is presently enrolling up to 200 patients to validate performance of its technology for total lung navigation and tumor access, and multiple feasibility studies of investigational technology to bronchoscopically treat lung cancer.

Broncus Medical has developed a portfolio of intellectual properties and technologies that enable bronchoscopic access to nodules anywhere in the lung, along with the treatment for major lung diseases including lung cancer and emphysema.

Its combined use of Fused Fluoroscopy, real-time bronchoscopy, and virtual bronchoscopic navigation offers a three-dimensional view within the lungs, with improved accuracy, giving direct access to the nodule for diagnosis and treatment.

Intuitive Surgical is a California-based medical device-maker which has been developing robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgical instruments.

One of the company’s products is the da Vinci surgical system, which is mainly designed to help surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery.

Even though the Da Vinci system is not programmed to perform surgery on its own, the procedure can be performed entirely by a surgeon who controls the system.

The system offers surgeons high-definition 3D vision, a magnified view, and robotic and computer assistance. It uses specialized instrumentation, including a miniaturized surgical camera and wristed instruments such as scissors, scalpels and forceps that are designed to help with precise dissection and reconstruction deep inside the body.