Forbes, February 13, 2019
Michela Tindera

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Johnson & Johnson plans to spend over $5 billion to boost its robotics program buying a startup that could compete with market leader Intuitive Surgical.

The pharmaceutical and consumer products giant announced Wednesday that it plans to buy startup Auris Health for about $3.4 billion in cash, plus additional milestone payments of up to $2.35 billion.

Auris Health was founded in 2007 by Frederic Moll, who is often referred to as a forefather of robotic surgery because he cofounded the now $61 billion market cap Intuitive Surgical. Auris Health's product, called the Monarch platform, received Food & Drug Administration clearance in March 2018 for diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopy, which can be used to perform lung biopsies. [...]

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