Allurion bumps up series C to $27M as it revs up for U.S. trial

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Allurion's Elipse Balloon is the only weight-loss balloon that does not require an endoscopic procedure to place or remove it. (Allurion Technologies)

Allurion Technologies has raised $27 million in series C funding, which will drive its efforts to scale up manufacturing and ramp up the commercial presence of its swallowable weight-loss balloon. The company will also conduct a clinical trial as it looks to secure an FDA nod.

The Natick, MA-based company picked up $19 million of the $27 million total in February this year. Existing investor Romulus Capital led the round, and Cogepa Investments and IDO Investments also participated.

A variety of obesity-treatment devices are available in the U.S., including three weight-loss balloons, which take up space in the stomach to make patients feel full. Apollo Endosurgery markets a single-balloon system, which may be filled with different amounts of saline depending on a patient’s needs. ReShape Medical makes a dual-balloon system. Both are delivered through an endoscopic procedure while the patient is sedated and should be removed after six months.

Obalon’s ingestible balloon, which is filled with gas, not liquid, has beaten Allurion’s Elipse Balloon to the U.S. market, but the CE-marked Elipse remains the only procedureless, ingestible weight-loss balloon.

Both the Obalon and Elipse devices are swallowed and then inflated using a thin catheter, eliminating the need for anesthesia or endoscopy. But while the Obalon device must be deflated and removed endoscopically at the end of treatment, the Elipse automatically deflates after about four months and is passed naturally from the body. Allurion hopes its procedureless approach will encourage more patients with obesity to pursue treatments to help with weight loss.

“Allurion’s frictionless approach to a massive and pervasive problem represents not just a novel product, but an entirely unique approach to medical innovation—lean, agile, and focused on treating patients as discerning consumers,” said Krishna Gupta, founder of Romulus Capital.

The Elipse balloon was found in a 42-patient study to result in a mean weight loss of 31%. The study participants were obese individuals who did not lose weight by changing their diet and had refused treatment by other intragastric balloons because of anesthesia or endoscopy. The balloons were inflated with 550 mL of liquid each and remained in the patients’ stomachs for four months. After they were excreted, the patients followed a Mediterranean diet to maintain their weight. The study was presented at the European Congress on Obesity in May.

“Because the Elipse Balloon does not require endoscopy, surgery or anesthesia, this may make it suitable for a larger population of obese patients not responding to diet/lifestyle treatment; and also for use by a variety of clinicians—nutritionists, dietitians, and internists—who currently do not have access to or are qualified to fit endoscopic or surgical weight loss devices,” said Roberta Ienca, of the Sapienza University of Rome, who presented the study. “Furthermore, the absence of endoscopy and anaesthesia for placement and removal can lead to a significant cost savings."