Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest maker of health-care products, is pursuing an acquisition of Auris Health Inc. in a deal that would bring it cutting-edge surgical robotics technology, people with knowledge of the matter said.
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. That financing valued the Redwood City, California-based company at about $2 billion, one person said.
The closely held firm, led by industry veteran Fred Moll, has developed robotic surgical scopes operated with a handheld device similar to a video game controller. The flexible tubes are steered into a patient’s lungs, where they can be used to identify cancerous tumors.
Dealmaking is heating up in the medical technology industry as device makers hunt for innovative products to boost growth. Last month, Medtronic Plc completed a $1.7 billion deal to acquire Mazor Robotics Ltd., an Israeli company whose robotics-assisted products aid in spine and brain surgeries.
Auris itself has raised more than $700 million from investors, including the latest $220 million equity financing round led by Partner Fund Management that was announced in November. Lux Capital, Viking Global Investors and billionaire Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital Management are also among its backers.
Image Credit: Auris Health