- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Luna Innovations said Wednesday that it is selling shape-sensing technology used in medical applications to Intuitive Surgical, which makes a robotic surgical system.

Luna said Intuitive Surgical will make two upfront payments worth a total of $12 million. It could get another $18 million based on technical and commercial milestones. Intuitive Surgical will also hire some of Luna’s engineering employees. The Roanoke, Va., company said it wants to focus on its fiber optic sensing technology business.

Shares of Luna Innovations Inc. more than doubled in value, rising $1.50 to $2.82 in midday trading.

Intuitive Surgical Inc. is based in Sunnyvale, Calif. Its da Vinci system uses robotic arms, cameras and a remote-control console to help doctors perform surgery with tiny incisions. It is used in gynecological procedures, heart surgeries, prostatectomies, urology procedures, among other operations.

The company’s shares more than doubled, rising $1.44 to $2.76 in midday trading Wednesday.

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