Ethicon has signed a cooperative development and commercialisation agreement, through its subsidiary NeuWave Medical, to work with Auris Health on robotically assisted bronchoscopic ablation of lung lesions to detect cancer.

Under the deal, NeuWave’s Flexible Microwave Ablation Technology will be combined with the Auris Monarch Platform for Robotic Bronchoscopy.

The companies plan to co-develop the integrated systems for robotic control, navigation and application of microwave ablation through bronchoscopes.

“Under the deal, NeuWave’s Flexible Microwave Ablation Technology will be combined with the Auris Monarch Platform for Robotic Bronchoscopy.”

In addition, the agreement will involve optimisation of technology and procedure development.

Auris Health co-founder and CEO Frederic Moll said: “From the beginning, our vision has been to create a platform capable of enabling advanced diagnosis and therapy for a spectrum of disease, using the least-invasive approach.

“Through this collaboration, we believe we are taking a significant first step together toward making the goal of diagnosing and treating lung cancer, all through the body’s natural openings, an eventual reality.”

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The company’s robotic Monarch Platform is intended to enable diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopy. It is designed to facilitate access to even small and hard-to-reach peripheral lung nodules with high precision.

Meanwhile, Ethicon’s NeuWave Flex is a flexible microwave ablation probe indicated for soft tissue ablation in percutaneous and open surgical procedures.

Based on the NeuWave percutaneous microwave ablation system, the probe can also be used for procedures that require the use of a lumen or scope to access the target tissue.

Both Monarch and NeuWave Flex have been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).