Johnson & Johnson‘s (NYSE:JNJ) medical device & diagnostics division plans to file for approval for some 30 "major" products over the next 3 years from regulators, executives told analysts today at an investors meeting.
The pipeline includes planned filings for orthopedic, surgical and diabetes care devices in the U.S., Europe and Japan through 2016 – and an entry into the robot-assisted surgery arena, executives said at the meeting today in New Brunswick, N.J.
J&J has a partnership with Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG) for surgical tools like tissue cutters and sealers, said Gary Pruden, chairman of J&J’s global surgery group, but is also working on its own version of a robot-assisted surgical platform.
"We’re early, but we have some plans that we’re moving forward with," Pruden said today. "There are opportunities not just for lower costs, but improvements in functionality, ease of use and movement within the OR."
"There’s a lot of unmet need based on the current model of robotics," added Ethicon chairman Michael del Prado, who stressed that the cost/benefit analysis for certain laparoscopy procedures like cholecystectomy might rule out robotics for those surgeries.
Citing the computer industry, which today makes computers as powerful as the room-sized machines of 50 years ago, Pruden said, robot-assisted surgery is in its early days in terms of the devices’ size and capabilities.
"You’re going to get to the point where it’s going to be be laptop-size," he predicted.
J&J’s also said its DePuy Synthes arm released 3 new products today: The Global Unite anatomic shoulder system; the Corail revision hip implant; and the Trumatch resection guide for its Attune rotating platform knee.
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