Intragastric Balloon for Treatment of Obesity

Background: The BioEnterics Intragastric Balloon System™ is a non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical alternative for the treatment of obesity. The balloon system is designed to provide loss therapy to reduce health risks related to obesity or risks prior to vital supervised weight loss program. Endoscopically placed and inflated with saline, the balloon system (made of high-quality silicone) partially fills the stomach to induce the feeling of fullness and support patients in reducing food intake and adopting new dietary habits. There are several limitations with the balloon system. Currently it can only be used for six months. Longer periods of use are not recommended. Over time the acidic content of the stomach will weaken the balloon material and cause the balloon to deflate. The patient may need medications to block the acid in the stomach (this may reduce the possibility of stomach irritation and damage to the balloon). If the balloon deflates before a scheduled removal the patient may or may not be aware that it has occurred. The balloon is small enough that it may pass through the intestines and leave the body naturally, but there have been some cases in which it has had to be removed from the bowel surgically. It is very likely that the presence of the balloon in the stomach will cause nausea or vomiting for a few days after placement. This may be due to the size as well as the weight of the water-filled balloon. Technology: Researchers at the University of California are developing a new design and material that will solve the problems of the above balloon system. It is characterized by: Durability: Since there is no threat of balloon erosion resulting in a puncture and balloon deflation, this design should last longer; Need for acid blocking medications: No need for additional medications as the material and design should not be affected by stomach acid; Potential deflation migration is avoided by a unique design: Side effects: Nausea or vomiting should be reduced on the basis of a "weight-less" design. Application: In extremely obese patients who require initial weight loss prior to surgical gastric by-pass, this treatment would allow for sufficient weight loss to optimize successful subsequent surgery. Other obese patient may benefit from this treatment either prior to, in place of, or after failure of surgical approach.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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