A new intragastric balloon can be implanted without the need for expensive surgery.
Intragastric balloons have become a popular treatment for obesity. The balloon is placed in the stomach and inflated. The balloon creates a feeling of fullness and allows patients to eat less without feeling hungry. When combined with diet and exercise the balloons have proven very effective at leading to significant weight loss. Small wonder that the market for intragastric balloons is set to be worth 248 million USD by 2024. Now, Allurion Technologies has developed an intragastric balloon that can be inserted without a surgical procedure.
The Allurion Elipse Balloon is made of a non-toxic polyurethane. It is swallowed in the form of a capsule and a catheter is used to fill the balloon with water. The balloon passes out of the body naturally after around four months. The procedure does not require any surgery and can be completed during a visit to the physician’s office. A standard intragastric balloon procedure costs around 8000 USD, with about half of that from the cost of endoscopy. Without the need for the costly endoscopy, the Allurion procedure can save patients a considerable amount of money.
Massachusetts-based Allurion launched U.S. clinical trials of the balloon in 2018. They have recently raised 27 million USD in Series C funding from Romulus Capital, and are using the money to support the clinical trials. Allurion also markets a Bluetooth-enabled scale that measures BMI and weight, and has plans to develop wearables that will help tackle other aspects of obesity-related problems, like infertility.