EnteroMedics Inc., a Saint Paul, Minnesota medical device company, has announced on Friday it is planning an IPO “of as much as $86.25 million in common stock,” reports Reuters. The company is developing a vagal nerve modulation device thought to be effective for the treatment of obesity.
Here’s what we know about the therapy:
VBLOC is a multi-mechanism therapy delivered through laparoscopically implanted leads to intermittently block vagal nerve trunks. High frequency, low energy electrical impulses are delivered by an implantable system to block the messages conveyed through the vagal nerves.
VBLOC is an acronym for Vagal BLocking for Obesity Control…
Before the availability of proton pump inhibitors (drugs that reduce the amount of gastric acid released into the stomach for persons with ulcers), surgeons routinely cut the vagus nerves near the stomach to treat ulcers. This procedure is called a “vagotomy.” For a period of time following surgery, many of the people who underwent this procedure absorbed fewer calories from fat, lost weight and had decreased appetite.
Since the nervous system is adept at accommodating the complete loss of the information provided by nerves, such as the vagal nerves, VBLOC Therapy has been designed to provide intermittent blocking. This intermittent blocking effect is intended to assure that normal signals from the vagal nerves continue to be sensed.
Vagal blocking (VBLOC Therapy), using very high frequency but low energy electrical pulses is under clinical investigation for its ability to regulate or reverse some of the effects of the intact vagus nerve and replicate some of the effects of vagotomy. With VBLOC, the function of the vagus nerves may be regulated without being severed.
More details at EnteroMedics’ homepage…