Johnson & Johnson to buy surgical robotics company Auris for $3.4 billion

(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson is buying privately owned Auris Health Inc., which makes a robot range used in the respiratory tract and lung cancer procedures, for $ 3.4 billion in cash to gain access to devices that are difficult surgical procedures easier.

FILE PHOTO: Johnson & Johnson building in Irvine, California, USA, 24 January 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

J&J, which include everything from Band Aid to replacement knees, is the sale of a number of departments, such as the care of the diabetes, as it tries to improve sales on the better-performing businesses, such as cancer, treatments and medical devices.

Sales in J&J’s medical device have been recovering since positions began in 2016, and the company now expects the unit to reach above the growth of the market in 2020.

Auris was founded by surgical robotics pioneer Frederic Moll, who is also co-founder of Intuitive Surgical, the current leader in robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery. Moll will be participating in J&J after the acquisition is closed, the company said, but has no information about which role he would assume.

“This acquisition will accelerate Johnson & Johnson’s entry into the robotics with the potential for growth and expansion in other interventional applications,” J&J said in a statement.

Auris, the main product is a robot used by surgeons via a controller to a range by means of a patient with cameras. The device, named Monarch, was approved by US regulators last year for diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopic procedures, in which an instrument inserted into the nose or the mouth.

Auris is in the first instance, focus on lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death worldwide.

J&J said the acquisition would complement the acquisition last year of Orthotaxy, a private developer of software-enabled robotic technology for surgery.

J&J’s Ethicon unit, which will absorb the Auris, has a partnership with the Alphabet Inc, Verily, Life Sciences, including companies formed a robotics-focused company called Verb Surgical Inc in 2015.

“Investors are longing for an acquisition for JNJ the MedTech and while this entity may not be top of mind, an addition to JNJ’s Ethicon franchise, and the respiratory health of the focus,” BMO Capital Markets analyst Joanne Wuensch said.

J&J, the agreement also includes additional payments to Auris of $2.35 billion, depending on the Worth of the achievement of certain milestones, J&J will not give up.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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