Gelesis said today that it received a $10.6 million (EU €9.4 million) grant to support the manufacturing of its Plenity weight loss device.
The Boston-based company said it received the grant from the Puglia Region of Italy, where its material science R&D and clinical supply manufacturing is located. Funds from the grant came from the European Community through the Operative Program of the European Fund for Regional Development.
The Plenity weight management system uses proprietary hydrogels designed to be orally administered and synthesized from modified cellulose cross-linked with citric acid to create a three-dimensional matrix intended to achieve specific mechanical properties through the GI system.
“Gelesis is moving rapidly to build out its supporting infrastructure for the launch of Plenity as a prescription therapy, and this support from the Puglia Region and the European Community is a welcome non-dilutive addition to our preparations. We are excited to build the first commercial manufacturing facility in the world capable of producing super absorbent hydrogels synthesized from naturally derived building blocks, based on the Gelesis core proprietary technology. This achievement is the result of many years of dedicated effort by our multi-disciplinary engineering teams. We will continue to invest in our manufacturing processes and capacity to meet demand for both commercial and clinical supply across our portfolio of hydrogel therapies in development for chronic disease,” COO David Pass said in a press release.
Gelesis said that it plans to expand its headcount as it prepares for a targeted launch in the U.S. during the second half of this year, and expects a larger launch in 2020.
Earlier this month, Gelesis said that it received FDA clearance for its Plenity weight management product.