December 20, 2019 / 12:49 PM / in 6 months

J&J to buy remaining stake in Verb Surgical to strengthen digital surgery portfolio

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Johnson & Johnson is displayed on a screen to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company's listing at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) said on Friday it would acquire the remaining stake in Verb Surgical Inc, from Verily, Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) life sciences division.

Bolstering its Ethicon unit, which makes surgical equipment, J&J in 2015 formed an independent company called Verb Surgical with Verily to create smaller, smarter and less costly robotic-assisted systems for surgery. (reut.rs/2EBtI9j)

The deal for Verb Surgical is expected to close in the first half of 2020, J&J said without disclosing deal terms.

J&J pushed further into the surgical robotics space with its $3.4-billion acquisition of Auris Health Inc earlier this year. The deal gave J&J access to the privately held company’s surgical robotic scope used in respiratory procedures and the detection of lung cancer.

The acquisition of Auris accelerated J&J’s entry into digital surgery, kicking off a strong pipeline of launches that will take place over the next several years, J&J said on Friday.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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