Robot surgical devices maker Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG) acquired Luna Innovations’ (NSDQ:LUNA) fiber optic medical shape-sensing technology in a deal valued at up to $30 million, with $12 million paid up-front and another $18 million tied to technical and commercial milestones.
Intuitive Surgical will get a few Luna engineers in the deal, as well as all related patents and products, accordign to a press release. The shape-sensing technology aims to provide real-time measurements to help surgeons sense positions and track locations in the body during surgery.
The news sent LUNA shares soaring more than 100% to trade at $2.75 as of about 12:45 p.m. today, but ISRG shares barely budged, trading at $437.10, down 0.5% on the day.
The companies have been working together on the technology since 2007, when they announced a joint effort to integrate Luna’s fiber optic sensing into Intuitive’s medical robotics. They extended their agreement in January 2010 after Luna "successfully achieved the expectations of the development work in the original agreement, which concluded in December of 2009," according to a press release.
Vermont-based Luna got a hefty Wall Street boost in July 2013, gaining more than 40% after announcing a revised multi-year supply and development deal with Intuitive.
"This sale is the culmination of the shape-sensing development we’ve done over the past several years for potentially integrating into Intuitive’s future products," Luna CEO My Chung said in prepared remarks.
Luna’s shape-sensing technology features a "minimally intrusive, virtually weightless" fiber that can monitor the shape of the environment it’s conforming to. The fiber may be embedded or attached to a surface where a tracking system can monitor shape in real time and provide "highly accurate measurements of twist and bend at every point along the sensor," according to Luna’s website.