Johnson & Johnson Acquires French Surgical Tech Firm Orthotaxy

On February 20, 2018, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies announced the acquisition of Orthotaxy, a privately-held developer of software-enabled surgery technologies, including a differentiated robotic-assisted surgery solution.  According to Johnson & Johnson, this technology is currently in early-stage development for total and partial knee replacement, and the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies plan to broaden its application for a range of orthopaedic surgery procedures.

Orthotaxy was founded in Grenoble, France, in 2009 by robotics entrepreneur Stéphane Lavallée and has focused on surgical planning software that allows surgeons to plan implant placement on preoperative CT or MRI images.  Orthotaxy has also developed patient-specific surgical guides that enable surgeons to insert surgical instruments and perform surgery in accordance with a planned strategy.

Orthotaxy currently has 3 pending published patent applications: U.S. Patent App. Nos. 14/667,623, 15/032,223, and 15/032,225.  The ’623 application and the ’223 application are directed to methods for constructing a patient-specific surgical guide (e.g., element 1 in FIG. 4 of the ’623 application reproduced below) based on a patient’s 3-D medical image.

The ’225 application is directed to a method for planning a surgical intervention that comprises computing and displaying a pseudo-radiographic images along with the representation of an implant in a patient’s anatomical structure, as illustrated in FIG. 2 of the ’225 application reproduced below.

Regarding the acquisition, Company Group Chairman Ciro Roemer stated: “Our goal is to bring to market a robotic-assisted surgery technology that is an integral part of a comprehensive orthopaedics platform, delivering value to patients, physicians and healthcare providers across the episode of care.  The team at Orthotaxy has significant expertise and passion in developing this platform, and we aspire to bring to market a differentiated technology that helps improve clinical outcomes and increases patient satisfaction.”

According to Johnson & Johnson, financial terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed.

Chang Lim
Chang Lim practices intellectual property law, with a focus on patent counseling and protection of innovations in the electronics, software, and healthcare industries. He represents clients in matters involving a diverse range of technologies including video coding, cloud computing, user interfaces, consumer electronics, data protection, and surgical robotics.
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