New "SuperFiber" for Satiety and Weight Management Introduced at Obesity 2011
BOSTON, Oct. 3, 2011 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Gelesis, Inc., a Boston-based company developing innovative solutions for overweight and obese people, presented a new product called SAEF® (Satiating Advanced Edible Fiber) at Obesity 2011, the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society in Orlando. The company also presented data showing that SAEF® increases the satiety-enhancing properties of cereal bars when added as an ingredient, and does so to a far greater extent than glucomannan, a dietary fiber which has been shown to cause weight loss.
"We were very excited by these results," remarked Dr. Eyal Ron, CTO of Gelesis. "To put this in perspective for an individual consumer, eating a food bar containing SAEF® and drinking water could create as much volume of food in the stomach as 5 - 10 food bars containing the equivalent amount of a leading fiber, without adding any calories." The company is conducting more studies to determine the optimal amount of SAEF® per serving and will be able to incorporate SAEF® into a variety of foods.
According to the study, cereal bars containing SAEF® created much more volume and for a longer period of time than glucomannan, one of the leading known fibers. SAEF® also created significantly greater textural force (a property that makes one feel satiated after eating solid food) during simulated gastric digestion than cereal bars containing an equal concentration of glucomannan. In head-to-head blinded comparisons by a leading food research group, NIZO, SAEF®-enhanced cereal bars recorded maximum forces that were up to 8 times larger than those of bars with glucomannan or control bars in a sophisticated system that simulates the human stomach. In addition, a separate set of blinded head-to-head rheological tests demonstrated that SAEF®-enhanced cereal bars created significantly higher elasticity and viscosity, an effect associated with increased satiety. The Gelesis team also reported this September, during the 24th European Conference on Biomaterials, the results of another study in which SAEF® was compared against additional leading fibers, including glucomannan, guar gum and psyllium. In that study, which compared the fibers in raw form (without incorporation into foods), SAEF® generated orders-of-magnitude more elasticity and viscosity in simulated stomach conditions.
"We are delighted to be able to present this new product, which has the potential to affect a broad group of people looking to manage their weight," said Yishai Zohar, CEO. "We see SAEF® as a valuable weight loss solution that is highly complementary to GelesisMDTM,* our capsulated medical device product which is currently in clinical trials."
Obesity is a major health problem worldwide, with close to two billion individuals either overweight or obese according to the World Health Organization. Despite the multi-billion dollar potential for a safe and effective solution to the problem, to date no one has been truly successful in creating one. The therapeutic benefit of all currently available anti-obesity tools is limited by their marginal efficacy and variable tolerability and safety profiles.
Certain dietary fibers have been used for weight management because they possess a number of the properties required to induce satiety. Of note, in 2010 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) gave a positive scientific opinion for glucomannan by granting claims for weight management. However, glucomannan has been linked to undesirable gastrointestinal side effects in higher amounts. Pharmaceutical attempts, meanwhile, have been limited by unacceptable safety profiles and modest efficacy, while surgical interventions to reduce stomach volume mechanically have been effective but limited due to their invasiveness. Gelesis has taken an innovative non-pharmacological, non-invasive approach to the volume reduction mechanism. The product concept involves decreasing functional stomach volume by ingesting non-caloric food in the form of innovative fiber particles that convert water into food-like gel in the stomach. The Gelesis satiety creating products are designed to work mechanically via several physiological mechanisms in the gastrointestinal tract that induce satiation when one eats a full meal. A video and animation of the Gelesis class of satiety products is available at www.gelesis.com/content/technology/.
Last year, Gelesis' presented human data at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 19th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress in Boston, showing that GelesisMDTM, the company's medical device product, created a significant increase in post-meal satiety and reduced hunger between meals in overweight and obese patients. In addition, Gelesis unveiled mechanistic data at Obesity 2010, the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society, showing that GelesisMDTM dramatically reduced food intake in a gold-standard animal model. Today's results add further support for the promising weight loss approach of this new class of satiety creating weight management products.
Gelesis is a Boston-based company developing products for overweight and obese people. The Gelesis team of scientific advisors includes the world's top experts in obesity research and clinical development, former regulatory leaders, and innovators in advanced materials. Gelesis was co-founded in 2006 by PureTech Ventures and has raised $23.5 M in financing and grants to date, including a recent $6.2 M round announced in June of 2011.