Johnson & Johnson must face former Auris Health shareholders’ fraud lawsuit

[Image from Unsplash]A Delaware judge has denied Johnson & Johnson’s motions to dismiss a fraud lawsuit filed by former shareholders of Auris Health, who alleged that J&J executives misrepresented their intentions for the robotic surgery company when they acquired it for $3.4 billion in 2019.

Acting as the representative of the former Auris shareholders, Fortis Advisors sued last year after the medtech giant released reserves related to the additional $2.35 billion in milestone payments that were part of the agreement.

J&J, its Ethicon subsidiary and top corporate officers violated the merger agreement and made false promises during negotiations, according to the lawsuit.

Vice Chancellor Lori W. Will in Delaware, in a December 13 order, allowed more than half of Fortis Advisors counts against J&J to proceed, though she dismissed claims against individual J&J executives on jurisdictional grounds.

Surgical robotics is a hot sp…

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J&J’s Gorsky to step down as CEO

Citing “family health reasons” Johnson & Johnson’s Alex Gorsky will hand the CEO role over to Joaquin Duato, current vice chairman of the company’s executive committee, at the start of the new year.

Gorsky oversaw a near decade of significant growth by the company. His tenure ultimately will be capped off by Johnson & Johnson’s development of a single-shot vaccine for COVID-19, an alternative to the dominant two-shot mRNA-based vaccines.

“The decision to step aside was one of the most difficult of my career,” Gorsky said in a release issued Thursday. “This is the right time for the Company as our organization is delivering strong performance across all three segments and is positioned for continued success, in addition to this being the right time for me personally as I focus more on my family due to family health reasons.”

Gorsky was name chairman and CEO in 2012. Next year, he’ll assume the executive chairman role, positioning him t…

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Asensus Surgical reports mixed Q2 results

Asensus Surgical (NYSE American: ASXC) reported second-quarter results that beat the Wall Street earnings consensus forecast but missed on revenue.

The Research Triangle Park, N.C.–based surgical robotics company reported a loss of –$13.2 million, or –6¢ per common share, off revenue of $1.1 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 — versus a loss of –$14.1 million, –27¢ per share, off revenue of $0.7 million during Q2 2020.

Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were –5¢, a penny ahead of The Street, where analysts were looking at EPS of –6¢ on sales of $1.5 million.

“During the quarter, we continued to drive strong adoption and utilization trends while making progress towards our strategic focus areas, including the expansion of clinical evidence, growth of our installed base, increased procedure volumes, the expansion of our portfolio and the continued technological development of Senhance. Importantly, I am encouraged by our proced…

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