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J&J Wins Clearance for Velys Robotic-Assisted Solution

Johnson & Johnson’s Depuy Synthes unit has won FDA clearance for the Velys Robotic-Assisted Solution. The device is designed for use with the Attune Total Knee System.

The New Brunswick, NJ-based company said it will become part of the broader Velys Digital Surgery Platform connected technologies.

Velys uses advanced planning capabilities, proprietary , and a next-generation design to help surgeons accurately resect bones that align and position the implant relative to the soft-tissue during total knee replacement without the need for pre-operative imaging.

“Globally, previous generation robotics have only penetrated key orthopedic segments between 5% to 10% of the market. A significant opportunity for combined robotic and digital surgery technology exists. Coupled with the Attune Total Knee, the Velys Robotic-Assisted Solution is highly differentiated and can help improve clinical outcomes and increase patient satisfaction, providing a more attractive clinical solution to current options on the market.” said Aldo Denti, Company Group Chairman, DePuy Synthes Franchise.

J&J inherited the Velys technology when it acquired Orthotaxy, a privately held developer of software-enabled surgical technologies, for an undisclosed sum in 2018. The acquisition helped J&J more effectively compete against Stryker’s Mako orthopedic surgical solution. The Kalamazoo, MI-based company acquired Mako for $1.7 billion in September of 2013.

J&J has been making headway in surgical robotics over the last few years. Late last year, J&J unveiled Ottava, its surgical robotics platform. J&J’s Ottava robotics system incorporates newer robotic technology as well as the integration of data capabilities intended to create an ecosystem best described as digital surgery.

The company took a big leap into surgical robotics in 2019 when it bought out  Verily’s interest in Verb. The Verb deal capped off a year’s worth of deals in the space which included the company’s $3.4 billion acquisition of Auris Health.

More medtech-based deals could be in J&J’s future. During a virtual presentation at the 39th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, company executives hinted there could be more medical device-related deals on the horizon.

“But, I think it’s fair to say that we would like to see our rate of tuck-in acquisitions and our level of investment in medtech continue and actually accelerate as we go forward,” Joe Wolk, CFO of J&J said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

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