IMRIS to acquire NASL and its MR-compatible surgical robot

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Imris has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NeuroArm Surgical Limited (NASL), a privately held company based in Calgary, Alberta, and its MR-compatible neurosurgical robot.

Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Imris will issue 1.6 million common shares as consideration for the acquisition of NASL, including the technology, patents and associated intellectual property.

The robotic surgery system is designed to perform microsurgery and biopsy-stereotaxy applications on the brain, which a surgeon can use together with a MR scanner in the operating room, according to the company. The system features two robotic arms that can manipulate MR-compatible tools at microscopic scale from a remote workstation. The surgeon sees detailed 3D images of the brain and surgical tools.

The first-generation robot was developed at the University of Calgary and is currently being used to perform neurosurgical procedures within an Imrisneuro suite at Calgary’s Foothills Hospital.

IMRIS and MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) will work together to commercialize the technology. MDA, a robotics provider and developer of the Canadarm, played a role in creating the current NASL robotic surgery system. Imris also has entered into a memorandum of understanding with MDA to create the next generation of the technology.

The companies expect to close the transaction no later than Feb. 8, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.