VBLOC therapy limits signals from vagus nerve, which regulates gastrointestinal and metabolic mechanisms such as expansion of the stomach as food enters. The pacemaker-like device Maestro device stimulates the nerve to alter perceptions of hunger and fullness.
The prospective double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial involved 239 randomized patients at 10 sites in the U.S. and Australia. Researchers reported that patients in the VBLOC group lost 25% of excess weight compared to 12% for the sham group; 54% of patients in the VBLOC group achieved at least 20% excess weight loss, compared to 26% for the sham control group at the 18-month interval, according to a press release.
“Durable weight loss over time is a critical, if challenging, goal in bariatric medicine, one that plays a significant role in achieving long-term health benefits," president & CEO Dr. Mark Knudson said in prepared remarks. "These study results, along with multi-year data from our earlier clinical trials, demonstrate durability of effect and a superior record of safety, underscoring the attractive benefit risk profile of VBLOC Therapy. If approved, VBLOC may help to address the lifelong challenges associated with obesity by offering a treatment option that supports safe, long-term weight loss and a healthy lifestyle."
The St. Paul, Minn.-based company rose 51.4% on release of the results, as stocks closed at $2.24 on Dec. 3rd. Shares were up another 3.6% today, trading at $2.01 as of about 2:30 p.m.