The highly lucrative robotic surgery sector is showing signs of continued growth as big name firms and investors pursue strategic investments in the $90B market. Early last week, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced plans to spend $3.4B in cash to acquire Auris Health, in addition to milestone payments of up to $2.35B. Auris Health is best known for being founded by the forefather to robotic surgery Frederic Moll. It gained FDA approval in March 2018 for its Monarch platform, a robot-assisted diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopy tool that will be able to perform lung biopsies.
The pharmaceutical and consumer products giant aims to leverage the acquisition to bolster its robotics program as well as to complement its existing pulmonary hypertension pharmaceutical program. However, some analysts have voiced concern over the acquisition due to the large premium paid. Last valued at $2.2B, Auris Health currently only has one product approved for lung biopsies. Nevertheless, future product launches and synergies with existing J&J programs could provide additional long-term value to the acquisition.