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Johnson & Johnson acquires surgical robot firm Auris

Johnson & Johnson logo on top of a building.
Johnson & Johnson is expanding its medical device division. Photo: Cristina Arias/Cover via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson is buying Auris Health, a venture-backed maker of surgical robots for lung cancer procedures, for $3.4 billion in cash. Auris could receive another $2.35 billion if the company hits certain unnamed milestones.

The big picture: Frederic Moll founded Auris as well as Intuitive Surgical, the world's predominant maker of surgical robot machines. However, research shows robotic surgery costs a lot more than conventional surgery, but "does not result in statistically better treatment outcomes."