Cincinnati-based Ethicon said its “Time to Act on Obesity” program involves more than 20 clinical trials enrolling some 2,000 patients and investigator-initiated studies in 5 countries.
“We know that metabolic disease has reached pandemic proportions, as nearly 30% of the world’s population is overweight or obese. We are calling our commitment, our rallying cry, It’s Time to Act on Obesity. And, if ever there’s a time – a tipping point, when we can make a difference – it’s now,” Ethicon chairman Michael del Prado said in prepared remarks. “Ethicon will continue working to reverse the trajectory of obesity by connecting the brightest clinical researchers and surgeons with our unparalleled science, economic insights and global reach to find long-term solutions.”
The program also includes studies on the economic impacts of bariatric and metabolic interventions, Ethicon said.
“The ultimate questions we’re always seeking to answer are: Who is the right patient, what is the right procedure, and is this the right time?” medical director for obesity & metabolic disease Dr. Elliott Fegelman said in prepared remarks. “In the U.S., the term ‘diabesity’ is gaining popularity because of the inextricable link between Type II diabetes and obesity. That’s the reverse of what we know to be true in Asia. For example, in China, they’re recording upwards of 114 million patients who have uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes, but develop it much earlier on the BMI curve, meaning they’re not as obese. We don’t see that same level of interdependence – that perceived cause-and-effect in Asia, between obesity and diabetes. These regional nuances, as we look across the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America, all require different and distinctive solutions, and that’s what our investment will help deliver.”
Ethicon said it’s looking to address a similar issue in India, where patients with uncontrolled diabetes also have lower BMI rates. In France, the program will aim to generate clinical and economic data to back guidelines for bariatric surgery. In Brazil, where patients can wait 7 years for bariatric and metabolic surgeries, Ethicon will study the cost and health impact of delayed treatment. The U.S. portion of the program will evaluate the durability of remission of co-morbidities like Type 2 diabetes after bariatric and metabolic interventions, the company said.