Medical devices are the fastest-growing business for Johnson & Johnson. The company’s medtech segment enjoyed 4% year-over-year sales growth, to $13.0 billion, during the first six months of 2017, versus 1.8% growth for the entire company.
The situation is a change from 2016, when the year’s medtech sales were slightly down even as the company’s revenue overall grew 2.6%.
“We are continuing to actively manage our portfolio, focusing on transitioning our business in higher growth areas with large unmet needs,” CEO Alex Gorsky said during a July earnings calls with analysts.
J&J has been actively acquiring and forging partnerships to further the growth. Company officials, for example, have said they are on track with their Verb Surgical robotic surgery partnership with Google’s Alphabet parent, which Gorsky has described as “computerized surgery.”
Verb Surgical is more than a robotics company; it’s a platform company, Verb Surgical CEO Scott Huennekens said during DeviceTalks West in December 2016. “There will be robotics – which are a key element – but also advanced instrumentation, advanced visualization, data analytics and machine learning,” Huennekens said.
Important acquisitions include:
• J&J made a major surgical vision care play with its $4.33 billion buyout of Abbott Medical Optics, which closed in February 2017.
• The company in July 2017 said it was taking its Pulsar Vascular and Neuravi acquisitions and combining them with its existing Codman Neuro neurological portfolio to create a new neurovascular business called Cerenovus.
• Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Synthes said in January 2017 that it had agreed to buy Interventional Spine’s expandable cages for minimally invasive spinal fusion surgeries.
• J&J subsidiary Ethicon Endo-Surgery announced in January 2017 that it had bought electrosurgical tools maker Megadyne Medical Products.
• J&J’s Ethicon in March 2017 closed on its purchase of Torax Medical and its Linx acid reflux treatment portfolio. The Linx system is made of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores that augment the esophageal sphincter’s barrier function, preventing reflux in patients with gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Torax has a similar device called Fenix that is designed to treat fecal incontinence.
“Our work with Google illustrates how we’re aiming to pioneer the operating room of the future with robotic surgical tools that will increase surgical precision minimize trauma for patients, and delivery efficiencies to hospitals. To complement our market-leading products and address hospitals goals, we launched our program and service offering–DePuy Synthes Advantage™–a unique suite of provider-focused solutions focused on complementing the company’s extensive portfolio of clinically proven products with solutions that assist in driving optimal clinical and economic outcomes while striving to improve the patient experience.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Recent new product launches In surgery, we launched a number of truly differentiated technologies, including the EVARREST® Fibrin Sealant Patch, a novel bio-absorbable hemostat, HARMONIC ACE®+7, an advanced ultrasonic vessel sealing device, ECHELON FLEX™ GST System to control tissue movement during staple firing, and the ECHELON FLEX™ Powered Vascular Stapler with Advanced Placement Tip, our first stapler designed for critical thoracic procedures. In orthopaedics, DePuy Synthes introduced two new technologies for the ATTUNE® Knee System—the ATTUNE Rotating Platform Knee and the Anatomic Patella. We launched CORAIL Revision System, the only tapered wedge hip revision system on the market; it is easier to implant, conserves more bone stock and uses a simpler surgical technique. In 2014, the U.S. FDA approved MONOVISC®, the first non-avian single injection hyaluronic acid (HA) product approved in the U.S. to treat osteoarthritis of the knee to relieve pain and improve mobility. Mitek Sports Medicine worked with Anika Therapeutics to commercially introduce MONOVISC in the United States. This year, DePuy Synthes launched the TFN-Advanced™ (TFNA) Proximal Femoral Nailing System, designed to improve patient outcomes by more closely matching the anatomy of patients. With the incidence of hip fracture on the rise, TFNA is designed to address the most critical needs of an aging population by helping to reduce postoperative complications and costs. TFNA also provides value to surgeons and providers by simplifying procedures, increasing surgical options and reducing hospital costs.