Robert Duggan

Robert Duggan – The Innovator

After investing in several technology companies, Robert W. Duggan invested in Computer Motion, a pioneering robotic surgery company and other successful business ventures. He is currently involved with the innovative  biotech firm, Pharmacyclics.

Pharmacyclics has developed an effective treatment for lymphoma and leukemia. Pharmacyclics’ new drug was approved by the FDA in November 2013 for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and in February 2014 for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), for patients who have had at least one previous treatment.

As reported by the Lymphoma Research Foundation, leading up to the approval of  Pharmacyclics’ drug, a clinical study followed 85 patients with relapsed CLL, with an average of three previous treatments for each patient. The overall response rate to treatment was 71 percent, and two patients achieved a complete response. Response to treatment also proved to be long-lasting; an estimated 75 percent of patients reached 26 months of progression-free survival.

Before his time at Pharmacyclics, Robert Duggan served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board at Computer Motion from 1997 until the conclusion of its merger with Intuitive Surgical in June of 2003. Computer Motion performed the world’s first FDA approved robotic assisted surgery in 1994 as well as the world’s first Trans Atlantic surgery.  In this procedure, the surgeon manipulated robotic instruments in New York and the patient’s gallbladder was removed via robotic instruments in a hospital operating room in Strasbourg, France. Mr. Duggan was the co-creator of this project, which took place on September 7, 2001.

In 1999, Robert Duggan received “La  Legion  D’Honneur” from the President of France at that time, Jacques Chirac. The award recognizes him for the introduction of robotic surgical technology to the French healthcare system and its significant impact on reducing patient trauma, reducing patient recovery time, and reducing healthcare cost.

The operation was guided by a surgeon thousands of miles from the patient

This operation was guided by a surgeon thousands of miles from the patient using robotic surgical technology.

The view in Strasbourg

This is the view in Strasbourg, France where the patient’s gallblader was removed by the surgeon in New York.


  Jacques Chirac.