Business Liquidity Startups

J&J Confirms $3.4B Buy Of Auris Health

Surgical robotics unicorn Auris Health is being scooped up by Johnson & Johnson in a $3.4 billion cash deal.

In a press release issued this morning, pharma giant Johnson & Johnson said it may also pay up to an additional $2.35 billion in contingent payments if Auris meets “certain predetermined” and unspecified milestones.

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There was talk in January that this deal was in the works but there were no numbers announced at that time.

It certainly seems like an impressive exit for San Carlos-based Auris, which has raised a total of $733.3 million since its inception in 2007. Its latest raise was a $220 million Series E in November that was led by Partner Fund Management. That round reportedly lifted Auris’s valuation to about $2 billion. The company develops robotic technologies for medical applications with a focus on lung cancer.  CEO Frederic Moll will join Johnson & Johnson once the deal closes.

In its press release, Johnson & Johnson said the buy would help “accelerate” its entry into robotics “with potential for growth and expansion into other interventional applications.” In March 2015, Johnson & Johnson signed an agreement with Alphabet (then known as Google) to create a robotic-assisted surgical platform.

The global general surgery devices market size was valued at around $12 billion in 2016 and expected to grow at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 8.5 percent through 2025, according to Grand View Research. In its report, Grand View projected that the medical robotics and computer-assisted devices segment was “expected to grow at the highest growth rate owing to increasing R&D initiatives undertaken for the development of accurate computer-assisted devices.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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