J&J's Ethicon to buy surgical oncology devicemaker

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon announced a deal to acquire NeuWave Medical, a privately held company that makes surgical oncology devices.

Neuwave, based in Madison, Wis., manufactures and markets soft tissue microwave ablation systems, a minimally invasive form of interventional radiology used to treat cancerous soft tissue lesions. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Physicians at the University of Wisconsin developed the technology behind NeuWave's Certus microwave ablation system, which enables physicians to customize ablations to a lesion's shape and size by using a single probe or multiple probes simultaneously. Neuwave claims to have the industry's smallest diameter microwave probes, which it says are smaller than a typical needle used to draw blood.

Michael del Prado, group company chairman of Ethicon, noted in a statement that NeuWave's precise, minimally invasive technology could enable health systems to save money on ablation procedures.

"We continue to work to push the boundaries of access and treatment for patients for whom traditional surgery may not be an option today," del Prado said. "The market-leading technology and expertise that NeuWave Medical has developed is minimally invasive and can be combined with other therapies to improve outcomes for patients.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter pending customary conditions.

Ethicon is behind the controversial Sedasys system, which automates propofol sedation of patients in screening colonoscopies and upper endoscopies, allowing the procedures to be performed without an anesthesiologist. The company also announced a partnership with Google last year to create a robotic-assisted surgical platform.

Adam Rubenfire

Adam Rubenfire covers supply chain for Modern Healthcare. His beat responsibilities include pharmaceuticals, medical devices, capital equipment, group purchasing organizations and medical supplies. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Automotive News and Crain’s Detroit Business. He has a bachelor’s degree in organizational studies from the University of Michigan. He joined Modern Healthcare in 2014.

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