Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is pursuing the acquisition of Auris Health Inc., a robot medical health company founded in 2007, as it attempts to integrate surgical robotics technology into the services it provides, according to a report by Bloomberg.
"J&J is seeking to purchase Auris at a premium to the valuation from its latest funding round, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private," reported Bloomberg. "That financing valued the Redwood City, California-based company at about $2bn."
Led by industry veteran Fred Moll, Auris has developed robotic surgical scopes which are operated with a handheld device to navigate a patient's lungs and identify cancerous tumors. The firm has so far raised $700m from investors, including $220m in equity financing in its last round.
A final agreement has yet to be reached and representatives from both companies have declined to comment on the acquisition.
The deal would not be J&J's first foray into the surgical robotics market. In February 2018, J&J acquired French robot-assisted surgery company Orthotaxy to create a new robot-assisted platform using "enabling technologies to personalize procedures, optimize surgery and bring value to customers and patients". It also entered a strategic collaboration with Google to work on advancing surgical robotics back in 2015.