In response to the company announcing the FDA approval of a few new instruments, shares of TransEnterix (NYSEMKT:ASXC), a medical device company focused on robotic surgery, jumped 10% as of 2:45 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
TransEnterix stated that it has won FDA approval for its 3-millimeter instrument set as well as some additional 5-millimeter instruments. These new products will be used in conjunction with the company's Senhance system in digital laparoscopy procedures.
The company believes that these tiny products will enable surgeons to operate through incisions that are so small that they will be considered "virtually scarless" for patients.
TransEnterix's CEO Todd Pope was thrilled with the news:
The ability to perform microlaparoscopic procedures using 3 millimeter instruments represents an unparalleled shift in the world of robotic surgery and a capability exclusive to the Senhance system. The addition of 3 millimeter instruments will allow many high volume surgeries to be performed with smaller incisions, which supports our mission of advancing minimally invasive surgical capabilities within digital laparoscopy.
Dr. Steven McCarus, a user of the Senhance system, also heaped praise on the potential of the new instruments:
Utilizing 3 millimeter micro instruments on a robotic system represents a new advancement in reducing the invasiveness of many surgeries. Patients find such small incisions to be virtually scarless and cosmetically desirable. Surgeons may find that using such tiny instruments with the precision and control of a digital interface makes microlaparoscopy a preferred option to treat more conditions.
Given the news, it isn't hard to figure out why investors are celebrating today.
Can the momentum continue? The odds look favorable that the answer to that question is yes. However, TransEnterix still has a ways to go before it reaches profitability, so it is still a bit too high risk for my taste. That's why my plan is to continue to root for this company's success from the safety of the sidelines.