BAROnova's anti-obesity device aces early trial

Fresh off closing $27.3 million in venture funding, California's BAROnova is touting positive trial results of its non-surgical anti-obesity device, the TransPyloric Shuttle.

In an Australian trial, the endoscope-inserted device resulted in an average of 50% excess weight loss in obese patients after 6 months, the company reported. Furthermore, the weight reduction never plateaued, primary investigator George Marinos said, indicating that TransPyloric Shuttle's full benefits could outpace surgical procedures in the long term.

The trial, dubbed ENDObesity I, is just the first step in the path to getting BAROnova's device to market, and the company plans to use February's $27.3 million Series C to fund a pivotal trial targeting approvals around the world.

"We are extremely pleased with the weight-loss results from the ENDObesity I clinical trial," CEO Hugh Narciso said in a statement. "The TPS device is a potent technology that has the capability to give a subject the power to hit the reset button in his or her life."

Among BAROnova's investors are Boston Scientific ($BSX) and Allergan ($AGN), and the startup could well be an M&A target if its device keeps posting positive results. Minimally invasive anti-obesity devices have become hot commodities in the industry, with the likes of GI Dynamics, EnteroMedics and IntraPace in various stages of development for technologies that promise to reduce patients' weight without the risks of bariatric surgery.

- read BAROnova's statement

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