EndoSphere attracts $3.1M to fuel anti-obesity device launch

EndoSphere has nailed down $3.1 million in an as-yet unfinished Series B round. Plans call for using the cash to launch the company's Satisphere implantable anti-obesity device and fund subsequent post-marketing studies.

MedCity News reports the development, based on a regulatory filing that notes 31 investors contributed to the funding round, which EndoSphere said it expects will reach $5 million. The device, which looks like a long windy tube, is inserted into the body using an endoscope. And as the article explains, it essentially slows the passage of food through the upper part of the small intestine. In the end, the body is fooled into thinking it has eaten more than it really has, and so the patient loses weight without surgery or drugs.

The device also recently received its CE mark in Europe. MedCity News cites a number of investors with the company, including Broadline Capital, North Coast Angel Fund and Queen City Angels.

The obesity market is a significant one for device and drugmakers alike. As MedCity News notes, more than 40% of all U.S. citizens are expected to qualify as obese within 18 years. But the proliferation of products has also drawn scrutiny based on mixed performance.

EndoSphere's much larger competitor--Allergan--recently got slapped with a subpoena from the HHS inspector general regarding the company's Lap-Band obesity treatment device. The band requires surgery, and the device has become controversial in light of a recent study that found almost half of patients who had the widely used device implanted either had no weight loss at all, or had to have it removed after 6 years. Many also had complications.

- here's the SEC filing
- read the MedCity News story