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A Potential Prediabetes Weight Loss Agent

A novel hydrogel capsule helps decrease weight in prediabetic patients…. 

The Gelesis100 is an orally administered capsule designed to cause weight loss by reducing the amount of caloric intake and inducing satiety by making the person feel fuller. The capsule contains thousands of tiny hydrogel particles that expand in the stomach and mix with digested foods to help with reducing intake. The First Loss of Weight (FLOW) study was presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society, ICE/ENDO 2014, in Chicago. According to Hassan M. Heshmati, MD, chief medical officer of Gelesis, the hydrogel caused a much greater weight loss than the placebo group. A 12 week randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study observed 128 obese or overweight subjects with an average BMI of 31.7±2.4 kg/m2. There were 43 subjects randomly assigned to receive 2.25g of Gelesis100 before lunch and dinner and another 42 subjects received 3.75 g of Gelesis100. A third group of 43 subjects received a placebo capsule. All subjects were instructed to reduce their caloric intake per day.

Among the participants, there were greater changes in body weight in the Gelesis group compared to the placebo group. There was an approximate 6.1% reduction in weight for the 2.25 g of Gelesis100, 4.5% reduction for 3.75 g of Gelesis100, and 4.1% reduction for placebo.

The greatest weight loss reportedly occurred in prediabetic subjects who loss an average of 11% of their body weight (P=0.019) compared to the placebo with only a 4% loss. In addition, about 78% of those with prediabetes returned to normoglycemia with the higher dosed Gelesis as compared to 56% of the lower dose and 27% of the placebo.

According to Dr. Heshmati, the lowered dose medication was well tolerated with mild GI complaints. The higher dose of Gelesis100 resulted in less weight loss because of lower tolerability and compliance problems. No adverse effects or serious problems have been witnessed with the Gelesis100.

Practice Pearls:

  • The Gelesis100 is an orally administered capsule designed to cause weight loss by reducing the amount of caloric intake and inducing satiety
  • Among the participants, there was a greater change in body weight in the Gelesis group compared to the placebo group
  • This medication was well tolerated with mild GI complaints and more tolerability for the lowered dose Gelesis100.

Heshmati H. Abstract SUN-0897. Presented at: The joint meeting of the International Congress of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society; June 21-24, 2014; Chicago