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J&J to buy remaining stake in Verb Surgical to strengthen digital surgery portfolio

The company logo for Johnson & Johnson is displayed on a screen to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company's listing at the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson <JNJ.N> said on Friday it would acquire the remaining stake in Verb Surgical Inc, from Verily, Alphabet Inc's <GOOGL.O> life sciences division.

Bolstering its Ethicon unit, which makes surgical equipment, J&J in 2015 formed an independent company called Verb Surgical with Verily to create smaller, smarter and less costly robotic-assisted systems for surgery. (https://reut.rs/2EBtI9j)

The deal for Verb Surgical is expected to close in the first half of 2020, J&J said without disclosing deal terms.

J&J pushed further into the surgical robotics space with its $3.4-billion acquisition of Auris Health Inc earlier this year. The deal gave J&J access to the privately held company's surgical robotic scope used in respiratory procedures and the detection of lung cancer.

The acquisition of Auris accelerated J&J's entry into digital surgery, kicking off a strong pipeline of launches that will take place over the next several years, J&J said on Friday.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)