Introduction • VBLOC device uses intermittent electrical signals to block the vagal nerve thereby leading to weight loss. The previous post followed Enteromedic’s announcement that the early results from the EMPOWER study failed to quite meet its primary and secondary efficacy endpoints (resulting in a 70% fall in share price).
Does it Work? • In recent time, however, the share price of Enteromedics more than doubled after the company announced the follow-up results of two studies was presented at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Meeting in Las Vegas. • After soldiering on in the randomized, double-blind, controlled pivotal EMPOWER Study, participants now at 20 months experienced an almost 20% excess weight loss, while averaging 9 hours of device use per day.
Study • Perhaps more interestingly, in another ongoing study (VBLOC-DM2 ENABLE), obese patients with Type-2 diabetes mellitus showed an improvement in HbA1c levels of 0.8% as well as a 25% excess weight loss over 12 months while averaging about 14 hours per day of therapy with the implantable Maestro RC System. • The novelty of this second generation Maestro device lies in the recharge ability of the implanted batteries via an external mobile charger and transmitter coil that can be worn for a few hours each week, thereby allowing delivery of a far more extensive treatment that with the previous version of the device.
Optimistic about the Future • Although this treatment required laparoscopic implantation of electrodes and the battery pack, with the usual risks entailed in such surgery, the treatment appears to be well tolerated with few side effects. • The company certainly appears optimistic about the future of this treatment for obesity and diabetes - the investors clearly appear to share this enthusiasm.
About Dr. Arya M. Sharma Dr. Arya M. Sharma, MD/PhD, FRCPC is Professor of Medicine & Chair for Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He is also the Medical Director of the Edmonton Capital Health Region’s interdisciplinary Weight Wise Program. Dr. Sharma is also the Scientific Director of the Canadian Obesity Network funded through the federal Networks of Centres Excellence program. Dr. Sharma has authored and co-authored more than 250 scientific articles and has lectured widely on the etiology and management of obesity and related cardiovascular disorders. He sends his informative messages through his blog Dr. Sharma’s Obesity Notes. For more information on Obesity visit; Website: http://www.drsharma.ca/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Arya-Sharma/115328778486319