Promising results are continuing to trickle in from GI Dynamics. The Lexington, MA-based maker of a gut-lining sleeve that mimics the effect of gastric-bypass surgery without all the slicing and dicing, is reporting that its device helped obese patients drop an average of 30 pounds after three months in a clinical trial, compared with about 10 pounds for those who were on a diet.
The results were presented today at the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders World Congress in Buenos Aires. The study enrolled 37 patients, including 26 on the company’s EndoBarrier device and 11 in a control group who were dieting. There were no adverse events reported in connection with putting the device in or taking it out, researchers said.
This result will help GI Dynamics move ahead with obesity as its top disease priority, as Ryan mentioned last week was the firm’s intention. It also comes on the heels of another 12-patient study we wrote about earlier this month that suggested EndoBarrier might have promise for Type 2 diabetes. The reduction in blood sugar levels in that trial was “extraordinary,” said Lee Kaplan, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and director of the Weight Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Still, there are plenty of unanswered questions, Kaplan says. Doctors will want to know if the thin, flexible device will hold in place for long periods of time, and whether it will irritate the gut, Kaplan says. GI Dynamics has said it plans to run further trials of EndoBarrier for weight loss, so we’ll see how many of those questions it can answer to satisfy the curiosity it is generating among physicians.