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Surgical robot battle; Emergex eyeing new vaccines; early 2020 drug price hikes

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Surgical robot battle; Emergex eyeing new vaccines; early 2020 drug price hikes

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The surgical robot market is expected to reach $275 billion by 2025, nearly tripling in size from 2018 as new systems from some of the biggest device-makers challenge Intuitive Surgical.
Source: AP Photo

As the early days of robotic surgery give way to more precise control and better patient outcomes, early pioneers like Intuitive Surgical Inc. are seeing increased pressure from large companies like Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic PLC, which have made major M&A investments to crack into the market in recent years.

Intuitive's da Vinci system was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000 for urology. Since then, the number of companies staking their future on the growing space — either in general surgery or orthopedic — has only grown.

Analytics firm GlobalData reported in November 2019 that the surgical robot market is expected to reach $275 billion by 2025, almost tripling in size compared to 2018 when the market accounted for $98 billion.

"The reason for this incredible growth rate is that robotics can revolutionize almost any type of surgery, including cardiology, oncology and neurology," GlobalData Data Scientist James Spencer said. "It is just a matter of how the technologies can be applied."

Story: Battle bots: J&J, Medtronic challenge pioneer Intuitive in surgical robot market

Chart of the week

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Story: Early 2020 drug price hikes track lower amid political pressure

Must read

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Emergex Vaccines has raised $11 million in series A financing to develop new vaccines for diseases including Ebola and Zika.
Source: Thinkstock

UK's Emergex raises $11M from Singapore-based VC for new dengue, Ebola vaccine

A U.K.-based vaccines company has raised $11 million from Singapore-based venture capital group, Vickers Venture Partners, to work on preventing diseases including Ebola and Zika.

Poll: Improving healthcare, lowering costs remain top issues for 2020 elections

Healthcare remains a top concern for American voters ahead of the November U.S. elections, ranking above the economy, immigration, taxes, gun control and other issues, according to a new poll.

Grassley calls on Trump to make stronger push for Senate drug pricing bill

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wants President Donald Trump to do more to urge Republicans to back a bipartisan bill aimed at lowering prescription medicine costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

Bristol-Myers leads gains for healthcare in S&P 500 during December 2019

Healthcare was the third-best performing sector on the S&P 500 Index in December 2019, with New York-based biopharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. providing the best returns among the healthcare companies with a gain of 12.7%.

In other news

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Scientists increased the destruction of tumor tissue in mice by combining multiple antibodies.
Source: Pixabay

Destroying tumors in mice; de-aging fruit flies; counting neurons in zebrafish

Scientists found that a combination of multiple antibodies improved tumor destruction in mice; researchers restored strength and function to cardiac muscles in fruit flies; German scientists are identifying and counting regenerated neurons in zebrafish.

AbbVie to carve out new Allergan Aesthetics unit following $84.2B deal

AbbVie Inc. will create a new business unit named Allergan Aesthetics following the company's $84.2 billion acquisition of Irish pharmaceutical giant Allergan PLC.

US health chief picks palliative care entrepreneur to lead innovation center

Brad Smith, the former head of a company that provided palliative care to dying Americans, was selected as the new leader of the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, top U.S. health officials said.

Merck & Co.'s Keytruda combo shows mixed results in lung cancer study

A combination of Keytruda and chemotherapy significantly improved the time certain lung cancer patients lived without their disease worsening compared to chemotherapy alone. However, Keytruda failed to significantly improve the time patients lived since the start of treatment, also called overall survival, compared to just chemotherapy.

Essential Healthcare is a weekly collection of critical developments across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, healthcare provider, healthcare technology and medical equipment industries that draws on exclusive analysis and value-added content from the Healthcare News team at S&P Global Market Intelligence. Subscribe now to get Essential Healthcare delivered to your inbox every week.