Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), has completed the acquisition of robotic medical company Auris Health for about $3.4bn in cash.


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

The deal also includes additional contingent payments of up to $2.35bn based on the achievement of certain predetermined milestones.

Auris Health’s robotic platform technology, which is presently used in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the lung, will help J&J to combat lung cancer and expand its digital surgery portfolio across multiple surgical specialties.

Auris Health has designed Monarch Platform for future clinical applications. The technology features an instinctive controller interface, which allows physicians to navigate the flexible robotic endoscope to the periphery of the lung.

The platform and its accessories will offer bronchoscopic visualization and access to patient airways for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Auris technology is said to compliment robotic platform technologies currently in development in general surgery with Verb Surgical, via J&J collaboration with Verily, and in orthopedics with the acquisition of Orthotaxy.

J&J medical devices worldwide chairman and executive vice president Ashley McEvoy said: “We are focused on building a connected, data-driven digital ecosystem that pairs our market-leading surgical solutions with advanced technologies to improve the patient experience.”

Separately, US-based Fortive has completed the acquisition of Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP) business from Ethicon for around $2.7bn in cash.

ASP supplies its customers with advanced sterilization and disinfection solutions, as well as low-temperature hydrogen peroxide sterilization technology.

The firm’s solutions will help healthcare facilities to protect patients against hospital-acquired infections, which are a major reason for morbidity and mortality.

The company’s products include Sterrad system for sterilizing instruments, and Evotech and Endoclens systems for endoscope reprocessing and cleaning. The company reported net revenue of around $800m in 2018.

Fortive president and CEO James Lico said: “The acquisition of ASP demonstrates our increased commitment to enhancing the safe operation of hospitals and healthcare facilities worldwide. We are confident that the addition of ASP to the Fortive portfolio will generate compelling value for ASP and its customers, as well as our shareholders.”