A Massachusetts company is partnering with the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh health care giant UPMC to advance development of tools used in robotic surgery, reflecting the city’s growing stature in the medical specialty.

Waltham-based Vicarious Surgical Inc., has signed an agreement with Pittsburgh Collaborative Research Education and Technology Advancement in Surgery — a Pitt-UPMC initiative — to enhance devices used in robotic surgery. The pre-revenue company plans to showcase new products at an investors’ conference in December, according to co-founder and CEO Adam Sachs.

Access to the Center for Preclinical Studies at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, another Pitt-UPMC program, and the expertise of clinical and robotic experts are among the benefits of the partnership in Pittsburgh, the company said. Vicarious, which went public in 2021, reported a net loss of $45.1 million for the third quarter.

Pittsburgh Creates, started in 2017, is a medical technology innovation center in Oakland that focuses on research, education and developing tech enhancements to surgery. Physician and engineer Umamaheswar Duvvuri is the founding director.

In a related matter, a year ago, United Kingdom medical equipment manufacturer Smith + Nephew expanded into a 65,000-square-foot facility in the Strip District, where the company planned to host surgeons, provide medical education and clinical research for its robotic surgical systems.

Smith + Nephew, which employs around 200 people in Pittsburgh, is working with roboticists at Carnegie Mellon University’s Medical Robotics Technology Center to develop semi-autonomous tools used in surgery.

In 2016, Smith + Nephew acquired CMU spinoff and Pittsburgh-based Blue Belt Technologies, the developer of the Navio Surgical System for knee replacement surgery, for $275 million.

Kris B. Mamula: kmamula@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1699

First Published November 10, 2022, 6:00am