A UK biotech company has announced the first human trial of an innovative new weight loss treatment.
Developed by Oxford Medical Products (OMP), Sirona is a self-expanding hydrogel capsule which could offer an affordable alternative to invasive and costly bariatric surgeries and gastric balloons.
Once in the stomach, the capsule expands rapidly, filling the stomach and providing a feeling of satiety.
And unlike other hydrogel based weight-loss solutions, Sirona is designed to be effective 24/7 before being passed naturally, specifically targeting the stomach to achieve appetite suppression.
Dr Camilla Easter, CEO of Oxford Medical Products, said:
“With more than 65 percent of the western population affected by excessive weight, there is an urgent need for a new scientific approach to weight loss.
“OMP aims to redefine the obesity treatment space by providing a solution that is designed to be affordable, effective, and accessible for hundreds of millions of people in need of appropriate support to ensure their weight-loss journey is successful and long lasting.”
OMP has partnered with the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) for the clinical trial.
The centre takes new discoveries, treatments and technologies into the clinic, with support from the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility.
The clinical trial will take place over the course of a year and will test 48 participants for three specific modules; safety, dosing and feasibility.
The hydrogel pills will be taken on a flexible dosing regime to sustain full satiety.
Once they have passed naturally, participants will redose the pills to continually have Sirona in the stomach to feel its effects.
James Byrne, Consultant Surgeon at University Hospital Southampton, said:
“I am really excited to be working with Oxford Medical Products who have developed a completely original approach to the serious problem of obesity, with Sirona, a product that has the potential to transform our approach to people living with overweight and severe obesity.”
Current weight loss surgery options start at around £4,000 per treatment.
OMP developed Sirona with cost-effectiveness in mind, allowing millions of people with excess weight to access this new solution.
Julian Hamilton-Shield Professor of Diabetes and Metabolic Endocrinology and industry lead for Bristol’s NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, said:
“Combining biomedical, dietetic and experimental psychology expertise in our nutrition theme within the Bristol BRC, allows us to offer Oxford Medical Products additional insight into day-to-day variation in appetite and eating behaviour to fully explore this novel approach to sustainable weight loss.”