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With no end in sight for the obesity epidemic, there is a vast and underserved market opportunity for manufacturers developing minimally invasive solutions for obesity that can fill the treatment gap between invasive bariatric surgery and conservative weight loss methods (diet, exercise, and drugs). Despite some high-profile setbacks in the last few years, the market for minimally invasive bariatric devices is gaining steam as several companies have recently launched obesity devices on the US market while others have completed clinical trials and are advancing toward US regulatory approval.
At the end of October, Apollo Endosurgery announced that it would acquire certain obesity assets from Allergan: Lap-Band, one of the most well-known brands in bariatric surgery, and Orbera, Allergan’s intra-gastric balloon system, the leading such product in Europe. It’s not unusual these days for large companies to unload under-performing businesses, but the Allergan deal is striking because of its choice of partner – Apollo Endosurgery is a small organization acquiring a much larger one.
A decade ago, incuabators were seen as the best medicine for what then ailed the medical device industry, most notably a complex regulatory pathway and a difficult venture financing climate. Perhaps not surprisingly, as both the regulatory path and venture financing grew easier in the mid 2000s, incubators began to struggle, victims of their own financing problems. More recently, two huge acquisitions, Abbott's purchase of Evalve and Medtronic's of Ardian, suggest that at least one incubator, The Foundry, is proving that incubation works.
A record-breaking attendance at 2010's meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery marked the growing interest in new ways to address the issue of obesity. Currently, less than 1% of a potential US patient population of 15 million who might benefit from bariatric surgery actually undergo the procedure, and surgeons are scrambling to understand why and to identify new, less invasive approaches that might help them better penetrate this enormous patient pool.
Surgical Equipment & Devices
- Minimally or Less Invasive
- Surgical Equipment & Devices
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