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Johnson & Johnson Announces With Google To Advance Surgical Robotics
Thu - August 29, 2019 5:10 am  |  Article Hits:2188  |  A+ | a-
Google Surgical Robot
Google Surgical Robot
Johnson & Johnson announced that Ethicon, a medical device company in the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, has executed a definitive agreement to enter into a strategic collaboration with Google, Inc., working with the Life Sciences team on advancing surgical robotics to benefit surgeons, patients, and health care systems.

The companies will bring together capabilities, intellectual property and expertise to create an innovative robotic-assisted surgical platform capable of integrating advanced technologies with the goal of improving health care delivery in the operating room. The collaboration was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation in California.

Robotic-assisted surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that uses technology to give surgeons greater control, access and accuracy during the surgical procedure while benefitting patients by minimizing trauma and scarring, enabling accelerated post-surgical healing. The companies seek to develop new robotic tools and capabilities for surgeons and operating room professionals that integrate best-in-class medical device technology with leading-edge robotic systems, imaging and data analytics.

“For more than 60 years, Ethicon has developed products and technologies that have transformed the way surgery is done,” said Gary Pruden, Worldwide Chairman, Global Surgery Group, Johnson & Johnson. “This collaboration with Google is another important step in our commitment to advancing surgical care, and together, we aim to put the best science, technology, and surgical know-how in the hands of medical teams around the world.”

The closing of the transaction is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015. Financial terms were not disclosed.

J&J is among a handful of established medical device manufacturers trying to seize opportunities in the burgeoning surgical robotics market via joint ventures, partnerships, and distribution agreements. Medtronic is back Mazor Robotics for the latter’s robotic spine surgery platform. Smith & Nephew acquired Blue Belt Technologies and its Navio robotics system in 2015. And Zimmer Biomet last year bought French company Medtech SA, developer and maker of the ROSA robotic device for neurological and spine procedures. These companies are trying to challenge the dominance in the surgical robotics space of Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci surgical system, the de facto standard in robotic-assisted surgery.

Emerging competitors are seeking FDA approval and commercialization of their own surgical robots, as well. These companies, such as TransEnterix, are looking to compete in the low- to mid-range market of hospitals open to using surgical robotics but facing budgetary constraints.

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