Valentx raises $10m for a new take on obesity

Theoretically, glittering prizes await the first company to develop a device to treat obesity safely and without requiring surgery. Aware of this, and undeterred by the many disappointments in this arena – most notably GI Dynamics’ EndoBarrier – investors are still willing to back devices of this nature. Valentx has just raised $10.3m to develop its candidate, a tube that can be placed in the stomach endoscopically to restrict the amount of food that a patient can digest. The group has raised $33m over the past 15 years but has yet to obtain regulatory approval for the device. This puts it behind four other companies which sell obesity devices either in the US or Europe, but even these products are not huge money-spinners. Sales of all Apollo Endosurgery’s devices combined are forecast to amount to just $109m in 2024, according to EvaluateMedTech; the equivalent figure for Reshape Lifesciences is $124m. With some gastric balloons linked with adverse events including deaths, and other types of devices requiring laparoscopic surgery, Valentx’s device could find a niche. Investors will hope that this will not take another 15 years.

Selected obesity devices
Company Device Type Delivery CE mark  FDA approval
Apollo Endosurgery Orbera Gastric balloon Endoscopic May 1997 Aug 2015
Apollo Endosurgery Lap-Band Gastric band Laparoscopic surgery Dec 1997 Jun 2001
Reshape Lifesciences Vbloc Maestro Neuromodulator  Minor surgery Mar 2011 Sep 2016
Obalon Therapeutics Obalon Gastric balloon Endoscopic Jul 2012 Jan 2015
Allurion Technologies Elipse Gastric balloon Swallowed; endoscopic removal Dec 2015 -
Apollo Endosurgery Orbera365 Gastric balloon Endoscopic Aug 2017 -
Apollo Endosurgery Lap-Band AP Gastric band Laparoscopic surgery - Apr 2006
Reshape Lifesciences ReShape Duo Gastric balloon Endoscopic - Jul 2015
Valentx ValenTx Gastric tube Endoscopic - -
Baronova Transpyloric Shuttle Other Endoscopic - -
Reshape Lifesciences Gastric Vest Other Laparoscopic surgery - -
Source: EvaluateMedTech. 

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