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Expanding in Stomachs and in Europe, Allurion Adds $6M for Anti-Obesity Device

Xconomy Boston — 

Plenty of companies sell pills for weight loss or obesity treatment. None of them are quite like Allurion Technologies.

The Wellesley, MA-based startup makes an ingestible “pill” containing a gastric balloon that a doctor fills with fluid through an attached tube to help a patient feel full. The tube is then removed via the patient’s mouth. The device, called the Elipse (pictured), is supposed to stay in the stomach for about four months before being emptied through a self-releasing valve and then excreted.

Allurion said today it has raised $6 million in new financing, led by Romulus Capital. The company was founded in 2009 by Shantanu Gaur and Samuel Levy, who were students at Harvard Medical School at the time.

Unlike other gastric balloons, the Elipse therapy is “procedureless,” Gaur says: “no surgery, endoscopy, or anesthesia is required.” He adds that the device is now on the market in the U.K., France, and Italy—it received a CE Mark designation in December—and “will be available soon in parts of the Middle East.”

The device has not yet received FDA approval, but that is something the company plans to seek. Last year, two other gastric balloon systems (known as ReShape and Orbera) got FDA clearance. Gaur noted in a blog post that those devices “have their limitations” because of the risks and costs of endoscopy and anesthesia.