Cardica and Intuitive Surgical have entered into a license agreement providing Intuitive with a worldwide, exclusive license to Cardica's intellectual property, which relates to tissue cutting, stapling and clip appliers, for use in the robotics field.

Pursuant to the license agreement, Cardica and Intuitive may also enter into future product development agreements.

Under the agreement, Intuitive has paid Cardica $12m for a royalty-bearing license and equity investment in approximately 1.25 million shares of Cardica’s common stock. The license excludes vascular anastomosis applications.

Cardica president and chief executive officer Bernard Hausen said that coupling the company’s microcutting-stapling technology with Intuitive’s minimally-invasive surgery expertise will provide better clinical outcomes for patients around the globe.

“The license agreement with Intuitive Surgical marks a major milestone for Cardica and our Microcutter ‘staple-on-a-strip’ platform, expanding the potential market reach and applicability of our technology significantly,” Hausen said.