Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) said today it is partnering with newly-titled Verily Life Sciences, formerly Google Life Sciences, to form Verb Surgical, which aims to develop a robotic surgical platform.
Verb Surgical aims to develop a comprehensive surgical platform that incorporates “leading edge” robotic capabilities and medical technology for use in the operating room, according to Johnson & Johnson. The company plans to develop them in partnership with surgeons and hospitals with a goal of “greater hospital efficiency.”
The new company comes from a strategic collaboration between J&J med device company Ethicon and Google Life Sciences announced in March, and will be headed by Scott Huennekens, Johnson & Johnson said.
Huennekens previously served as CEO of Volcano Corp., which was bought by Royal Philips (NYSE:PHG) in February this year for $1.2 billion. Before that, Huennekens served as CEO of Digirad and held senior positions at Baxter. Huennekens serves as a board member at EndoChoice, Reva Medical, Sonendo and the Medical Device Manufacturer’s Assn.
“I’m very excited about the possibilities that we can realize through our new surgical solutions company. By maximizing the distinct capabilities of these 2 market-leading companies, we aim to develop novel technologies and solutions to help improve the standard of care around the world. Our name speaks for itself. We are a company dedicated to action and to making a difference in people’s lives, in partnership with surgeons globally,” Huennekens said in prepared remarks.
Surgical instruments for the robot-assisted platform will come from Ethicon, J&J said, and the company is being supported by Ethicon, J&J Innovation and Verily, with intellectual contributions and in-process R&D assets coming from Ethicon and Verily.
“We believe Verb Surgical has the potential to change the future of surgery, not just robotic surgery. The team has already made meaningful progress on the robotics platform, which is being developed for application across a host of surgical specialties,” J&J med device worldwide chair Gary Pruden said in a press release.
The new biz is slated to be headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with a board including members from all involved companies.