46. Auris Health

A surgical robot pioneer scrubs in, in the next generation.

Founders: Frederic Moll, M.D. (CEO), Hari Sundram, M.D., Christopher J. Velis
Launched: 2007
Headquarters: Redwood City, California
$518.2 million (PitchBook)
Valuation: $1.3 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Robotics, micro-instrumentation
Biotechnology, medical devices

George Kavallines | CNBC

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lung cancer kills more men and women in the United States than any other type of cancer. Auris Health is trying change that deadly statistic. The 11-year-old company was founded by surgical robotics pioneer Dr. Frederic Moll. He started three other robotics companies, including the publicly traded company Intuitive Surgical. It also makes robotic surgical systems.

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To make progress with lung cancer treatment, Auris received FDA approval in March for its Monarch Platform. This allows the company to use more flexible robotics during endoscopic procedures (the use of small cameras and tools to enter the body through its natural openings). The goal of the technology, the company says, is to enable more accurate diagnosis, and eventually treatment, of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung.

Auris has raised $513 million in equity capital from leading technology investors, including Mithril Capital Management, Lux Capital, Coatue Management and Highland Capital. The Redwood City, California-based company is also developing disruptive solutions for a number of other diseases where standard treatments are not sufficient.