Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) subsidiary Ethicon has agreed to acquire robotic medical company Auris Health for around $3.4bn in cash.


Image: Johnson & Johnson headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Photo: courtesy of Nikopoley.

As per terms of the deal, Auris Health is also eligible to secure additional contingent payments of up to $2.35bn based on the achievement of certain predetermined milestones.

Auris Health is engaged in the development of robotic technologies, with an initial focus on lung cancer. The company already provides an FDA-cleared platform, which can be used in bronchoscopic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

The acquisition will enable J&J to enter into robotics market and expand its presence in other interventional applications.

Johnson & Johnson medical devices worldwide chairman and executive vice president Ashley McEvoy said: “In this new era of health care, we’re aiming to simplify surgery, drive efficiency, reduce complications and improve outcomes for patients, ultimately making surgery safer.

“We believe the combination of best-in-class robotics, advanced instrumentation and unparalleled end-to-end connectivity will make a meaningful difference in patient outcomes.”

J&J will use Auris Health’s Monarch Platform robotic technology in its Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI), enabling to develop a differentiated digital solution to address crucial steps in the lung cancer care journey ranging from diagnosis to early stage intervention.

Monarch Platform has been designed for mobility and upgradeability for future clinical applications. It features an nstinctive controller interface that enables to navigate the flexible robotic endoscope to the periphery of the lung.

J&J will also apply Auris Health’s technology across the continuum of surgical approaches, including open, laparoscopic, robotic and endoluminal. The acquired business also compliments J&J’s recent the acquisition of Orthotaxy’s robotic technology for orthopedics.

Subject to antitrust clearance and other customary closing conditions, the deal is expected be completed by the end of the second quarter this year.

Under the agreement, Auris Health founder and CEO Dr Frederic Moll will join J&J upon completion of the deal.

Moll said: “Together, we will be able to dramatically accelerate our collective product innovation to develop new interventional solutions that redefine optimal patient outcomes.”