SAN DIEGO, Calif. - A new capsule could help people lose 20 to 30 pounds in a few months without surgery but Americans must leave the country to get it.
Obalon, which has been described as the biggest advancement in obesity treatment, is the world's first gastric balloon that you can swallow. It's targeted to individuals who are overweight but do not qualify for traditional weight loss surgery.
Mark Mahmood is the vice president of marketing for Obalon.
“Obesity is a global epidemic,” Mahmood said. “There is such a large, unmet need.”
Mahmood said Obalon’s leaders have more than 20 years experience in medical technology and identified the need to give overweight and obese patients more options in ways to drop pounds.
“It’s a novel technology that really helps patients address their weight and obesity,” Mahmood said. But, “it should in no way replace diet and exercise” and should be used in conjunction with better eating habits and behavior modification, he said.
The company would not comment on the timing of the pending pivotal clinical trial with the FDA, now that the company has completed a small feasibility study. But Mahmood said his company believes they can help suffering patients.
“Hopefully one day, we’ll be in the U.S.,” he said.
(*Editor's note: This story was updated March 11 when the company responded to comment.)