Design Engineering

Johnson & Johnson acquires Auris Health robotics for $3.4 billion

Devin Jones   

Automation Medical Robotics

At the center of the acquisition is Auris' proprietary Monarch platform which helps diagnose lung cancer in its earliest stages using robotics.


Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, recently announced the acquisition of Auris Health robotics and its FDA approved Monarch platform for $3.4 billion U.S.

The Monarch platform is used to diagnose lung cancer in the early stages by using a microscopic tube and putting a video game controller-esque device in the hands of surgeons. J&J’s acquisition of Arius is one of the top 10 largest VC-backed, private merger and acquisition transaction, coming in at number one when looking at the medtech industry specifically.

“We’re thrilled to be joining Johnson & Johnson to help push the boundaries of what is possible in medical robotics and improve the lives of patients across the globe,” said Arius co-founder Dr. Fred Moll in a statement. “Together, we will be able to dramatically accelerate our collective product innovation to develop new interventional solutions that redefine optimal patient outcomes.”

The Monarch platform will allow surgeons to perform endoscopic surgeries and access those “hard-to-reach lung nodules early for diagnosing and targeting treatment.” According to Arius, lung cancer kills more people than prostate, breast and colon cancer combined due to late diagnosis’ and ineffective treatment. Inserted through the nose or mouth, the microscopic tube is equipped with cameras and is controlled via the aforementioned controller used by surgeons.


The deal marks J&J’s expansion into the healthcare robotics, and the company’s second acquisition after purchasing Orthotaxy last year – a privately held developer of software-enabled robotic technology for surgery.

Moll began raising finances for Arius in 2012, accumulating $700 million from the likes of Lux Captial, Mithril, Viking Global, Partner Fund and Coatue. In a blog post on Medium, Peter Hébert of Lux Captial writes that the Monarch platform will allow two million people to see early treatment, hopefully lowering the 90 per cent fatality rate cited in the post. 


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