We haven't heard much from Obalon Therapeutics in a while. The obesity treatment device startup last drew attention in 2008, when it had announced raising $4.7 million of a $7.7 million first round of funding, right about when it launched. And then: virtually nothing since.
Until now: Obalon has raised another $1.5 million from two unnamed investors to continue its work, according to its SEC filing. MedCity News offers a solid account of the funding, also pointing out that the company has been in stealth mode for a while.
Obalon alternately describes its technology as a gastric balloon and "a novel gastric space occupying device," according to Clinicaltrials.gov, which holds some news on the company's clinical trials so far. According to the website, Obalon completed a 60-day pilot study of its product last fall that evaluated safety and efficacy, and is holding an ongoing non-randomized observational study. Both trials involved subjects in Mexico.
As MedCity News points out, newer obesity treatment companies including GI Dynamics and EnteroMedics are emerging, with development of devices that block absorption of food or create an artificial sense of fullness, among other areas. They'd compete with Allergan's Lap-Band, which drew fire from Consumer Reports in recent days: The consumer publication claims that it is among many devices on the market that haven't been properly tested for safety.
Special Report: GI Dynamics - Top 10 VC deals, H2 2011