Johnson & Johnson is buying a Silicon Valley surgical robotics startup for $3.4 billion

  • Pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson is buying surgical robotics company Auris Health for $3.4 billion.
  • "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," Ashley McEvoy, the executive vice president of medical devices at J&J, said in a statement Wednesday. 
  • Watch J&J trade in real time.

Johnson and Johnson is bulking up on its surgical robotics presence by acquiring Auris Health for $3.4 billion. 

The Redwood City, California-based surgical-robotics company was most recently valued as a private company at $2.1 billion, putting it among other health-tech unicorns. The deal also includes up to $2.35 billion in payments based on development milestones the company hits. 

"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," Ashley McEvoy, the executive vice president of medical devices at J&J said in a statement Wednesday. 

Read more: 16 billion-dollar startups revolutionizing healthcare that you should be watching in 2019

Investors including Lux Capital, Mithril Capital Management, Highland Capital, Partner Fund Management and Coatue Management stand to make a killing on the transaction. Since its founding, Auris had raised more than $700 million in venture funding. The acquisition by J&J makes it one of the 10 largest venture-backed private mergers and acquisitions deal, according to Peter Hébert at Lux Capital, which led Auris's series A round.

In March 2018, Auris got FDA approval for its product called Monarch, which is a controller-operated robotic camera that helps doctors get visuals from within the body, including the lungs. The idea is to get a clearer picture of places within the lungs that are often only reached through more invasive procedures. 

"We believe that Monarch will become the go-to approach for diagnosing lung cancer in the future," Auris chief scientific officer Josh DeFonzo told Business Insider at the time

J&J has been bulking up its presence in surgical robotics in recent years. In 2018, the company acquired Orthotaxy, a company that's developing surgical robotic tools to assist in total and partial knee replacements. It also has a joint venture with Alphabet's life sciences arm Verily called Verb Surgical, that's also developing new ways to use robots to assist in surgery. 

See Also:

Read Full Story