TransEnterix, a Morrisville medical-device maker, said Tuesday it has acquired the surgical robotics division of Sofar, an Italian health care company that developed an advanced robotics system for minimally invasive surgery.
TransEnterix said it plans to leverage the Italian robotics technology with its own SurgiBot system to gain market share currently dominated by traditional laparoscopic procedures. TransEnterix said that under the terms of the $99.8 million deal, it can immediately start selling Sofar’s ALF-X robotics technology.
Investors reacted positively to the news, pushing TransEnterix stock up 13 cents, or 5 percent, to close at $2.80. The company’s stock is down 4 percent this year.
TransEnterix is positioning itself to ride the next wave of surgical technology, seeking to overcome a technology lag in which laparoscopic procedures represent more than 10 times the number of robotic surgeries. The 148-employee company has 135 workers in Morrisville.
One of the disadvantages of robotics is that surgeons are physically disconnected from their work and can’t easily reposition patients once the technology is docked. TransEnterix said it is developing ways to overcome those and other disadvantages, while also lowering prices barriers to encourage hospital administrators to invest in robotics-driven surgery systems.
TransEnterix, founded in 2006, will continue to have its headquarters in Morrisville. The Italian acquisition will be called TransEnterix Italia but will also be known as Vulcanos.