Gelesis announced today that it partnered with China Medical Systems for the commercialization of the Plenity weight loss pill in China.
Under the terms of the deal, CMS will provide $35 million upfront via licensing fees and equity investment, plus there remains the potential for an additional $388 million in future milestone payments, as well as royalties.
“There is a huge need but limited options for patients seeking treatment for overweight and obesity, so we are excited to be able to offer Plenity to patients in China in the future,” CMS GM of global investment & operations Huaizheng Peng said in a news release. “Its highly desirable efficacy and safety profile make it an ideal choice for many patients looking for early intervention treatment for overweight.”
Plenity, based on Gelesis’ proprietary hydrogel platform, is an orally-administered, non-systemic and non-stimulant aid for weight management, taken in the form of capsules with water before lunch and dinner.
The Plenity capsules release particles that rapidly absorb water in the stomach, creating small, individual gel pieces with the elasticity and firmness of plant-based foods but without caloric value. The treatment received FDA clearance in April 2019 for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 25–40 kg/m², when used in conjunction with diet and exercise. It also has CE Mark approval in Europe.
“We see this as a great additional validation of the market potential for Plenity in different geographies,” Gelesis chief commercial & operating officer David Pass said. “We are excited to partner with CMS and are pleased that they intend to leverage digital technologies to expand access to care. The patient is at the center of everything we do, and as we continue to expand geographically, that will be at the core of any partnership.”