We are Asensus

Asensus Surgical, Inc. and our 200+ amazing team members in 12 countries around the world are committed to developing technology that helps surgeons worldwide deliver life-changing patient care with consistently superior outcomes.

World map showing Asensus office locations

Photo of surgeon sitting in chair, performing surgery

Surgery isn’t performed by robots. It’s performed by people.

For so long, the industry has focused on incremental advancements in robotic equipment; innovations that bring speed, dexterity, and a clear view of what’s in front of us to do surgery. Augmented Intelligence goes further, by giving surgeons a sense of what’s around the corner. And as a surgeon builds on their digital legacy, our technology only gets smarter, ensuring that every surgery that follows will be, too.

Because we can do better. For patient care. For surgeon longevity. For lower cost barriers, and wider access to the latest advancements. And right now, in ORs across the world, a growing community of minds is making “better and better” the new standard of care. Our technology isn’t the “next generation.” It’s the missing piece.

Board of Directors

Stakeholders around the globe

  • David B. Milne
  • Andrea Biffi
  • Anthony Fernando
  • Kevin Hobert
  • Elizabeth Kwo, MD
  • Richard C. Pfenniger, Jr
  • William Starling

David Milne

David Milne has served as Chair of our Board since October 2021. Mr. Milne is currently a consultant and is the chairman of the board and CEO Advisor of Luna Imaging and an independent director and CEO Advisor of Tixologi. He has served on the boards of 20 medical technology and IT companies over the years, and has served as board lead on many strategic advisory roles focused on mergers and acquisitions and IPO financings.

From 2005 to 2017 he was a Managing Partner at SV Health Investors (SVHI), a diversified healthcare venture group which has invested $3 billion over 6 funds. He led financings from seed stage through exit or IPO in 14 companies and worked with three specialty incubators developing additional novel medical therapies. He was an advisor to Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and worked with Stanford University’s Biodesign fellowship program.

Prior to joining SVHI in 2005, he held executive positions at Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX). From 1999 to 2005 he was Vice President of Corporate Business Development and was responsible for over 50 transactions totaling over $2 billion in acquisitions, equity investments and development partnerships.

From 1992 to 1999 he was Director of Marketing and Director of New Technology Development in the surgical and cardiology divisions. Previously he worked as an expatriate in Germany for Scimed Life Systems, Inc. (BSX acquired Scimed in 1992) as a Marketing Manager. His experience prior to 1992 was in Product Management and Account Management at Becton, Dickinson and Company and Parker Laboratories, Inc. He holds an MBA in Marketing/Finance from New York University and a BS in Biology from Rutgers University.  

Andrea Biffi

Andrea Biffi is currently the sole director and Chief Executive Officer of Three Heads Investment S.r.l., positions he has held since March 2021. In June 2022, Three Heads Investment became the owner of shares of the Company’s common stock resulting from a corporate division of Sofar S.p.A. (“Sofar”).

Mr. Biffi was Chief Executive Officer of Sofar from June 2015 to October 2022, and he served as a member of the board of directors of Sofar from November 2012 to October 2022. Mr. Biffi worked for Sofar, or companies owned by Sofar, since January 2008, until Sofar and its subsidiaries were sold in October 2022. Mr. Biffi continues to consult with Sofar. Since December 2017, Mr. Biffi has served as President and board member of 1LAB SA.

Since the date of its incorporation in October 2018, Mr. Biffi has served as sole director of BLL Invest srl. Since September 2019, he is president of the board of Lac2biome s.r.l., a probiotic company. Since May 2021, he is non-executive member of the board of Orion TopCo Limited Ltd. Mr. Biffi is a non-controlling member of 1 Med S.A.

Anthony Fernando

Anthony Fernando became our President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board on November 8, 2019. Prior to his appointment as our President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Fernando previously served as our Chief Operating Officer since June 1, 2017, as our Chief Technology Officer, since January 2016, and as our Vice President, International Development from August 2015 through January 2016.

Previously, Mr. Fernando served as Vice President, Innovation and Technology, International, of Stryker Singapore Pvt. Ltd, a global medical technology company, from October 2013 until July 2015. From August 2010 until October 2013, Mr. Fernando served as Director of Research and Development, greater Asia, for Becton, Dickinson and Company, a global medical technology company engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of medical devices. From July 2007 until July 2010, Mr. Fernando served as the Director of Research and Development, Asia - Environmental Health, at PerkinElmer Singapore Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Fernando holds a BSc and MSc, Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kevin Hobert

Kevin Hobert has served as a director of the Company since July 2021. Mr. Hobert has served, since March 2022, as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Breg, Inc., a privately held orthopedic bracing and billing services company that advances patient orthopedic care.

From September 2018 until March 2022, Mr. Hobert served as principal of Beaver Lake Advisors LLC, a consulting firm formed to provide industry and transaction advisory services to private equity funds. From May 2007 to August 2018, Mr. Hobert served as the Chief Executive Officer of Carestream Health Inc., a worldwide provider of medical imaging systems, X-ray imaging systems for non-destructive testing and precision contract coating services for a wide range of industrial, medical, electronic and other applications.

Prior to May 2007, Mr. Hobert served in a variety of management positions for Kodak Health Group, a division of Eastman Kodak Company, and GE Medical Systems, Inc. (now GE Healthcare, Inc.). Mr. Hobert earned a B.S., Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Elizabeth Kwo, MD

Elizabeth Kwo, MD has served as a member of our Board since July 2021. Dr. Kwo specializes in healthcare technology product development and medical management. Since March 2022 she has served as the Chief Commercial Officer of Everly Health, Inc., a privately held company that offers laboratory testing for wellness monitoring, informational and educational uses. Prior thereto, from December 2020 to March 2022, she served as Deputy Chief Clinical Officer at Anthem, Inc. In that role, she was responsible for modernizing care management with predictive analytics and integrating technology and clinical data to create an improved automated patient and provider experience that drives down total medical costs and increases access to care.

Dr. Kwo served as Staff Vice President, Clinical Analytics and Products for Anthem, Inc. from June 2020 to November 2020 and as Medical Director from November 2019 to May 2020. Prior to Anthem, Dr. Kwo co-founded and served as the chief executive officer of the telemedicine company InfiniteMD from 2015 to 2019. She previously worked in management roles at Medtronic, Inc., American Well Corporation, and founded multiple venture-backed companies in healthcare while continuing her academic appointment at Harvard Medical School as a Faculty Lecturer, a position she continues to hold.

Dr. Kwo earned a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University, a M.D. from Harvard Medical School, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MPH from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She completed her residency in Preventive Care at Harvard Preventive Care and is Board Certified in Preventive Care and Occupational Medicine. From 2004 to 2005, she served as a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan. Dr. Kwo is a member of the board of directors and audit committee of Walmart Mexico and Central America, is on the board of directors and chair of the nominating/governance committee of Blue Wind Medical, a privately held company, and the Chair of the board of director of ChroniSense Medical, a privately held company.  

Richard C. Pfenniger

Richard Pfenniger is currently a private investor. During his career, Mr. Pfenniger has served as an executive officer of several companies, including as Chief Executive Officer and President of Continucare Corporation, a provider of physician services, from 2003 until 2011, and the Chairman of Continucare’s board of directors from 2002 until 2011.

Additionally, Mr. Pfenniger served as CEO and Vice Chairman of Whitman Education Group, Inc., a post-secondary education provider, from 1997 until 2003. From 1994 to 1997, Mr. Pfenniger served as Chief Operating Officer of IVAX Corporation, and from 1989 to 1994 he served as Senior Vice President-Legal Affairs and General Counsel of IVAX Corporation. Prior to that, Mr. Pfenniger was engaged in the private practice of law, and earlier in his career, Mr. Pfenniger worked as a C.P.A. with Price Waterhouse & Co. Mr. Pfenniger is a director of OPKO Health, Inc. (“OPKO”), Co-Crystal Pharma, Inc., Fluent, Inc. (a data-driven performance marketing company) and GeneDx Holdings Corp. (medical diagnostics).

Mr. Pfenniger is a member and chair of the audit committee of OPKO. Mr. Pfenniger also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Mr. Pfenniger previously served as a director of GP Strategies Corporation, BioCardia, Inc., and Wright Investors’ Services Holdings, Inc. Mr. Pfenniger received his B.B.A. from Florida Atlantic University and his J.D. from the University of Florida.

William N. Starling

William Starling is currently Chief Executive Officer of Synecor, LLC, (Synecor) a business generator of new life science companies based in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. As CEO of Synecor, Mr. Starling is a cofounder of BaroSense, Inc., Bioerodible Vascular Solutions, Inc., (BVS, acquired by Guidant/Abbott in March 2003), InnerPulse, Inc., the Company, Interventional Autonomics Corporation, NeuroTronik Limited, and Conveyor Cardiovascular Limited, the initial seven companies founded and incubated by Synecor.

Mr. Starling currently serves as CEO of Conveyor Cardiovascular Limited, an Irish-based company in the structural heart field. Mr. Starling is formerly co-founder and Managing Director of Synergy Life Science Partners, LP, a venture capital partnership until its conclusion December 2020. Mr. Starling Mr. Starling was on the Board of iRhythm Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRTC) in San Francisco, a Stanford BioDesign spinout, from its inception in January 2007 until its initial public offering on October 20, 2016. Mr. Starling was Chairman of the Board of RTP, NC - based InnAVasc, Inc., an early stage startup company spun out of the Duke University Medical Center engaged in the development of improved renal dialysis technology. InnAVasc was acquired by W.L. Gore & Associates in August 2022.

Recent Board memberships/personal investments include YorLabs, Inc., (Chairman) in the Wireless Intracardiac Echocardiography field, Senaptec, Inc. in the Sensory Performance field and ReVibe Technologies in the ADHD field (represents investor Carolina Angel Network in both Senaptec and ReVibe), and EnCompass Technologies, Inc. in the Cerebral Embolic Protection field. Mr. Starling received his BSBA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MBA degree from the University of Southern California. He began his 45-year career in the medical device industry at American Edwards Laboratories (Edwards LifeSciences - NYSE:EW). He was subsequently part of the founding management team and Director of Marketing for Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (acquired by Lilly/Guidant/Abbott), and was cofounder, Vice President and Board member of Ventritex, Inc. (IPO in 1992, acquired by St. Jude Medical/Abbott in 1997). Mr. Starling was cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Directors and President/CEO of Cardiac Pathways Corporation (IPO in 1996, acquired by Boston Scientific Corporation in 2001).

Mr. Starling serves on the Stanford Stroke Center’s Board of Advisors at the Stanford University Medical Center. He also serves on the Kenan-Flagler Business School Board of Advisors (Chairman 2009-2014), Chairman of the UNC/NCSU Department of Biomedical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board and is a member of The Chancellor’s Innovation Circle at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he frequently guest lectures to undergraduate and graduate students on entrepreneurism. Mr. Starling is also Chairman of Carolina Research Ventures and is the recipient of the 2016 UNC Kenan-Flagler Leadership Award, awarded annually to an alumnus for exceptional achievement in a career field, personal endeavor or service to UNC Kenan-Flagler.


Standing Together & Celebrating Differences

We believe in contributing to a society that welcomes diverse voices and values differences in lived experiences, culture, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and neurodiversity. We are committed to ensuring that same environment for our employees – a culture where individuals feel safe, heard, and respected. We celebrate the uniqueness of our international workforce and know that only through inclusion, ongoing learning, and partnership can we succeed.

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