Clinical Update (09/2006)
MTI provides an update on bariatric surgery, where a new study which finds that complication rates of patients undergoing obesity surgery are higher than previously thought. Also, MTI reports on a new risk score for dementia.
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EnteroMedics recently earned the distinction of closing the second-largest financing for a private medical device company in 2006. Its success was undoubtedly due to the company's attractive position at the junction of two of the device industry's hottest markets: obesity and neuromodulation. EnteroMedics is developing an implantable impulse generator that it hopes will address multiple mechanisms in obesity.
Obesity is a multi-hundred billion dollar market ready and waiting for device developers to catch up to fill an enormous unmet need. Between the low risk, low benefit drug options for overweight patients, and the high risk, high benefit surgeries for the morbidly obese, there's a huge gap in terms of therapies. This sweet spot covers a segement of over 50 million obese patients without weight loss options. Companies with new devices for obesity hope to serve that population; the market is existing and underserved, reimbursement risk is eliminated--since many patients will pay out of pocket to have weight loss procedures--so the remaining risk revolves around technology. However, technology risk in a multi-factorial disease whose mechanisms are poorly understood is significant.
HHS will take steps to increase access to abortion medication and prevent states from banning it, Secretary Becerra says, but also is questioned about whether the FDA can speed up certification of pharmacies and if the Justice Department would sue states banning access.