Another endoscopically delivered intragastric balloon indicated as a weight loss aid in obese adults has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Orbera intragastric balloon has been approved as a treatment for weight loss, in obese adults, with a body mass index between 30 and 40 kg/m2, the manufacturer, Apollo Endosurgery, announced on Aug. 6. It is intended for obese adults who are considering invasive surgery or for whom invasive surgery is not appropriate, when diet and exercise or pharmaceutical interventions have not worked, the statement said.

During a 20- to 30-minute procedure, the deflated Orbera silicone balloon is placed in the stomach via an endoscopic procedure under a mild sedative, where it is then filled with saline until it is about the size of a grapefruit, according to the company. The patient usually can go home on the same day; the balloon is deflated and removed 6 months later. The company will provide patients with an individualized weight-loss program for patients for 1 year, starting from the time of balloon placement.

The approval of this device follows the approval of the ReShape intragastric balloon for obese adults, for up to 6 months, announced by the FDA on July 28. ReShape was the first such device to be approved in the United States.

The results of the pivotal U.S. 12-month multicenter trial of the Orbera balloon in more than 250 obese adults with a BMI of 30-40 kg/m2 were reported at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in May, by Dr. Barham K. Abu Dayyeh of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. For more than 2 years, patients were randomized to a 12-month behavioral modification program, with or without endoscopic placement of the balloon, which was removed at 6 months. Eighteen patients withdrew before treatment; 215 patients were evaluable at 6 months, 206 at 9 months, and 191 at 12 months.

At 6 months, the mean percent total body weight loss was about 10% in the balloon group, vs. 4% in the control group, a significant difference (P less than .001). In addition, the total body weight loss was significantly higher in the balloon group at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, and the mean percent of excess weight loss at 6 months was better in the balloon group than in the control group (about 40% vs. 13%; P less than .001), he said at the meeting. The majority of excess weight loss achieved at 6 months was also maintained at 12 months.

Serious adverse events were reported in 7% of controls and almost 10% of the balloon group, which included eight early removals for intolerance, one gastric outlet obstruction, one laryngospasm during placement, one case of severe abdominal cramping, and one case of severe dehydration. Early device removals occurred in 22% of patients, 15 for symptoms and 13 at subject request, Dr. Abu Dayyeh said. There were no deaths during the study.

The Orbera balloon has been available in more than 80 countries, according to the manufacturer.

More information is available on the FDA website.


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