Ethicon renews collaboration with university

Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, has extended a research collaboration agreement with the University of Cincinnati. The three-year, $13.5 million grant extension is part of the EES Metabolic Applied Research Strategy, which is aimed at improving the understanding of the physiological changes resulting from bariatric surgery.

An estimated 300 million adults worldwide are categorized as clinically obese. The goal of the MARS initiative is to develop less invasive treatment options for these people. "If we can truly understand the physiology behind how bypass surgery works, we can leverage this knowledge to create less invasive devices and procedures, creating a variety of weight loss options," says Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the GI Metabolism Laboratory and Weight Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital. "Finding ways to 'bypass the bypass' is a very exciting area of research that we hope will deliver options that are well suited for the large percentage of obesity sufferers who aren't currently receiving treatment."

The partnership was announced in March 2008, and, including the new grant, Ethicon, which develops surgical devices such as shears and staplers, has invested more than $33 million with UC and Massachusetts General. Ethicon is presenting research from the past two years at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery this week, the Business Courier of Cincinnati reports.

- see the Ethicon release
- check out the Business Courier's report