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Auris Surgical Robotics has raised $280 million in new VC funding at what sources tell Axios was a pre-money valuation of around $1 billion. As its name suggests, the company's plan is to make robotics for use in human surgeries, with CEO Fred Moll saying today that the first targeted disease will be lung cancer:

"The reason lung cancer is so deadly is that the diagnostic and treatment processes are ineffective. The majority of lung cancer patients are diagnosed in late stage, when the cancer has already spread beyond its primary location. With our technology, physicians will be able to access early stage lung cancer without incisions, allowing accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment."

Investors: We're told that Cotaue Management led the round, and was joined by Viking Global, Partner Fund Management, Section 32 and return backers Lux Capital, Mithril Capital Management and Highland Capital Partners.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Harris wants more union membership in fed workforce

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a virtual town hall with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Oct. 14. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will today announce new guidelines to encourage federal workers to join unions, according to a White House official.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants to bolster the collective bargaining power of workers across the country – and they are starting at home, with changes in the federal workforce.