J&J takeover of Verb Surgical : Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to take full ownership in US robotic surgery company Verb Surgical by acquiring the remaining stake it previously did not own from its joint venture partner Verily Life Sciences, an Alphabet company.
The joint venture for the development of surgical robotic systems was announced by Google and Johnson & Johnson in 2015.
Johnson & Johnson said that the robotics and data science capabilities of Verb Surgical combined with its position and global footprint in health care will advance its objective of making medical interventions smarter, less invasive and more customized.
Andrew Conrad – CEO of Verily, commenting on J&J takeover of Verb Surgical, said: “With Verb Surgical, we set out with an ambitious mission to successfully harmonize the talent and expertise of two pioneers to design a platform with the potential to transform surgery. This evolution in the collaboration recognizes the significant achievement toward that mission and I’m excited for the future of this technology in Johnson & Johnson’s hands.”
Verb Surgical’s digital surgery platform is said to combine the power of robotics, advanced instrumentation, improved visualization, connectivity and data analytics into a unified smart, powerful, connected platform. The robotic surgery company plans to connect surgeons to an end-to-end platform for carrying out surgery apart from enabling them in pre-operative planning, intra-operative decision making and post-operative care.
Based in Silicon Valley on the Google campus, Verb Surgical has more than 300 employees.
Ashley McEvoy – Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Worldwide Chairman, commenting on J&J takeover of Verb Surgical, said: “We have reached this important milestone thanks to the progress the Verb Surgical team has made with their digital surgery platform and the strong collaboration with Verily, Ethiconii, and the clinicians around the world who shared their passion, deep insights and clinical expertise.
“We are building a truly differentiated digital surgery ecosystem to change the standard of care for generations to come, and our collaboration with Verily has enabled us to advance our vision to help improve outcomes for patients around the world.”
J&J takeover of Verb Surgical is expected to be wrapped up in the first half of next year once it gets antitrust clearance and meets customary closing conditions.
In April 2019, Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Ethicon closed its $3.4 billion acquisition of Auris Health, a California-based robotic medical company (Read more about Ethicon acquisition of Auris Health here). Johnson & Johnson believes that Auris Health’s technology complements the robotic platform technologies that are being developed in general surgery by Verb Surgical, and in orthopedics courtesy of the acquisition of Orthotaxy through its French affiliate Apsis in 2018.