Nestlé Health Science and Epitomee Medical have entered into a strategic partnership for the development and commercialisation of an innovative polymer-based ingestible product aimed at promoting weight loss and improving health. The strategic partnership will cover the development and the commercialisation of the product which has already demonstrated efficacy and safety in various pre-clinical and clinical studies with significant weight loss reduction and other beneficial health impacts.
The Epitomee gastric retention platform synergistically balances ingestible devices and the body’s native mechanism to tackle some of today’s most prevalent chronic diseases at their core. Epitomee’s drug-free, self-administered shape-shifting capsule aims to prevent diabetes and address obesity comorbidities and establishing a healthier lifestyle.
The capsule contains a biodegradable shape-shifting gel scaffold, which mechanically resists peristaltic waves as they progress through the stomach wall after eating. Triggered by stomach pH level, the mechanical resistance stimulates mechanoreceptors that create a sense of satiety, stalling gastric emptying. The gel scaffold acts on the stomach tissue for a period of several hours before it dissolves, thus avoiding stomach adaptation.
The results of a phase 2 study in 52 patients published in 2019 (Safety, tolerability and efficacy of a novel self‐use biodegradable device for management of obesity. Obes Sci Pract. 2019 Aug; 5(4): 376–382), reported that total body weight loss per intension‐to‐treat analysis was 3.68±3.07% (3.23±2.69kg) and 4.52±2.97% (3.95±2.57kg) per protocol. No device serious adverse effects reported and the most common adverse events were headache (18.1%), viral infection (11.5%), abdominal discomfort (10.1%), bloating (7.9%), nausea and constipation (5% each) and flatulence (4.3%). Endoscopy in 26 patients revealed mild, asymptomatic gastric/duodenal erythema without erosions in five patients.
"The research and development that Epitomee is doing is very promising,” said Hans-Juergen Woerle, Chief Scientific & Medical Officer of Nestlé Health Science. “We look forward to working together to realize the commercialization of the product, an innovative approach to reducing weight and managing other associated metabolic health co-morbidities.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Epitomee grants Nestlé Health Science exclusive and global commercial rights to use the product in the weight loss market, and potentially to address other disorders including prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
“Nestlé Health Science is an ideal strategic partner for Epitomee. Its global reach, strategic intent to develop science-based nutritional health solutions and focus on fighting metabolic disorders will be instrumental to Epitomee’s worldwide commercialisation success,” said Dr Dan Hashimshony CEO of Epitomee. “We are excited about the opportunity that this deal brings to Epitomee and to the many millions of people around the world with obesity and other metabolic issues. This transformational deal is another recognition of the good science, the hard work, commitment and vision of our team."