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February 28, 2015

Slow and Steady Doesn’t Win the Race: It’s a Tie

A recently published paper in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology challenges the widely held notion that gradual weight loss is associated with better long-term outcomes than rapid weight loss. Purcell and colleagues randomized 200 people to either a rapid (12 weeks) or gradual (36 weeks) weight loss program (Phase 1) and then followed those who lost at least 12.5% of their weight for over 3 years to assess long-term outcomes (Phase 2). They concluded the following: After nearly 3 years of follow-up, people in both groups maintained ~30% of the weight they had lost (see figure) 81% of people in the rapid…

February 3, 2015

Are gastric balloons effective?

The answer is yes: gastric balloons are effective. Multiple randomized, controlled trials have compared gastric balloon therapy to diet and lifestyle modification and have concluded that gastric balloons are more effective. Here are a few examples: Fuller et al. 2013 showed that 6 months of gastric balloon therapy led to an average of 14kg (31lbs) of weight loss compared to 4.8kg (10.5lbs) from lifestyle modification alone. The weight loss difference remained statistically significant after 12 months. Genco et al. 2006 showed that 3 months of gastric balloon therapy led to an average reduction of 5 more BMI points than lifestyle modification…

January 21, 2015

Patient Preference for Weight Loss Devices

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published an article in Surgical Endoscopy that reports results of a survey conducted on patient preference for weight loss devices. The survey quantifies the risk-benefit analysis many patients conduct before deciding on a weight loss therapy. This research is part of a laudable, ongoing effort at FDA to incorporate patient preference in regulatory decision-making. Moreover, the research provides very useful quantitative data to support FDA’s risk-benefit paradigm for evaluating new weight loss devices. In fact, this approach was instrumental in the recent approval of the Enteromedics VBLOC device. While the device failed…

January 2, 2015

Bridging the Gap between Perception and Reality: The Role of a Non-Surgical Weight Loss Device

Only 1-2% of patients who qualify for bariatric (i.e. weight loss) surgery end up getting it. A recent study in Obesity by Fatima Stanford, Ted Kyle, and colleagues explores why. In a survey of patients with Class I (BMI 30-34.9), Class II (BMI 35.0-39.9), and Class III (BMI ≥ 40) obesity, the authors found the following: 84% of Class I patients, 63% of Class II patients, and 42% of Class III patients did not perceive themselves as obese 85% of Class I patients and 74% of Class II patients found surgery unacceptable Most patients found surgery unacceptable, because they felt it was…

December 24, 2014

Gastric Balloon in Private Practice: is close follow-up needed?

Allurion Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Ram Chuttani recently co-authored a paper in Endoscopy on the weight loss outcomes in 815 Dutch men and women receiving the gastric balloon in private practice. Unlike the bulk of the literature on gastric balloons, this paper reports outcomes in a non-academic (i.e. commercial) setting. The results call into question the widely held belief that balloons only work with regular follow-up. Here are the high-level findings: The average weight loss over 3 months was 15.8kg (~35lbs) The average weight loss over 6 months was 20.9kg (~46lbs) The average weight loss over 6 months for patients who had no follow-up was…

December 5, 2014

Data Presented on New Gastric Balloons for Weight Loss

Louise Gagnon recently interviewed Allurion’s Chief Scientific Officer Shantanu Gaur for her story in General Surgery News on the Elipse Balloon. The article highlights Allurion’s presentation at this year’s International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) World Congress and underscores the key differences between the Elipse Balloon and all other gastric balloons in development. Here’s an excerpt: In an interview with General Surgery News, Dr. Gaur pointed out that the Elipse has distinct advantages over other intragastric balloons. “The difference with our device, compared to other intragastric balloons, is that it does not require endoscopy or anesthesia,” Dr. Gaur said. Click…

November 19, 2014

A balloon for obesity: an option between medication and surgery?

The Elipse Balloon was recently covered by Melissa Healy of the LA Times in an article entitled A balloon for obesity: an option between medication and surgery? Here is an excerpt: For many struggling with obesity, taking one of the newly approved prescription medications for weight loss (marketed as Qsymia, Belviq and Contrave) feels like climbing a mountain with a walking cane — it’s a little help, but not enough. And bariatric surgery — a permanent replumbing of the intestinal tract that is expensive and carries the risks of major surgery — feels like a bit too much help. Could a water balloon…

November 15, 2014

Elipse Pilot Study Results Presented @ Obesity Week

Dr. Evzen Machytka presented the results of Allurion’s human pilot study entitled First Human Experience with a Novel, Swallowed, Self-emptying, and Excreted Intragastric Balloon for Weight Loss at this year’s Obesity Week. Unlike other intragastric balloons for obesity, Allurion’s Elipse Intragastric Balloon does not require endoscopy or anesthesia. The human pilot study in 8 patients demonstrated that the Elipse balloon is safe and feasible and ready for further testing. We would like to congratulate the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society for organizing another well-attended and informative conference. Allurion is looking forward to Obesity Week 2015! Dr. Evzen…

October 31, 2014

Allurion Technologies @ Obesity Week

We will be presenting our pilot human clinical data at Obesity Week on November 4. Obesity Week brings together thousands of attendees from all around the world to discuss cutting edge obesity science, advances in clinical management of obesity, and obesity public policy. This year, it is right in our backyard in Boston, MA. Check out the schedule for the event here. We hope that you can join us!

August 13, 2014

Allurion Technologies @ AGA Tech Summit

Allurion was chosen as one of four innovators by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Center for GI Innovation and Technology to present at the 2014 AGA Technology Summit.  The presentation provided an overview of the benefits and limitations of prior-generation intragastric balloons.  It also highlighted performance data on Allurion’s Elipse intragastric balloon.  A summary of the event was published in the AGA Tech Report.