Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has decided not to follow a 510(k) clearance pathway for its planned general surgery robot — with a goal to start first-in-human studies with the system by the second half of 2022.
That was one of the major pieces of information to come out of the New Brunswick, N.J.–based company’s quarterly earnings call yesterday.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the U.S., J&J had been planning some kind of robotic surgery reveal in May. The medtech giant has been working on combining technologies that came out of its previous Verb Surgical collaboration with the Alphabet (NSDQ:GOOGL) life sciences unit Verily — as well as its $3.4 billion purchase of Auris Health and its FDA-cleared Monarch platform.
Robot-assisted surgery is presently a hot area in medtech — with J&J, Medtronic and others seeking to take on Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG), the dominant company in the space.
“We continue to be impressed by the technology advancements we’re seeing with both the Verb and Verily and the Auris combination. Our teams are making very good progress as we speak. … And we’ll be providing you some further updates regarding a more focused digital review in the coming months,” J&J CEO Alex Gorsky said during the quarterly earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha.