However, we can make an educated guess that the placebo-adjusted EWL of 8.5% equates to about 8 pounds lost over the course of a year-long course of treatment. For a patient with a BMI of 41, weighing 240 pounds, that translates into 3% weight loss over one year, or roughly the same percentage weight loss achieved by Arena Pharmaceuticals' (ARNA) recently approved weight loss pill Belviq. Vivus' (VVUS) weight-loss pill Qsymia is more effective than VBLOC.
Of course, Belviq and Qsymia are pills easily swallowed. VBLOC requires a device to be implanted in the abdomen and turned on 9-12 hours per day.
EnteroMedics will have a real challenge convincing FDA to approve a minimally effective weight-loss device based on data from two failed phase III studies. Even if approved, the commercial potential is tiny given inferiority to more convenient pills.
-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.Follow @AdamFeuerstein
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