Case Studies

Big healthcare challenges, unexpected solutions

Our objective is to develop our programs by first focusing on a problem within the healthcare sector, often in partnership with strategic partners and patient groups, and then to propose innovative solutions together with a group of cross-disciplinary experts, in a manner that we believe is unencumbered by the restrictions of traditional drug development.

We aim to concentrate on a few major initiative areas at a time, generate and review on average, 650 technologies per year, and drive forward a handful of new programs a year.

The Challenge

Obesity is a global epidemic that affects more than half a billion adults worldwide, with obesity-associated medical costs exceeding $190 billion annually in the US alone in 2005.* Our view is that to date, treatments have fallen short by failing to fully address the complexity of appetite regulation in a safe manner.

* Cawley J, Meyerhoefer C. The medical care costs of obesity: an instrumental variables approach. J Health Econ. 2012; 31:219-30.

Traditional Approaches

Pharmacological anti-obesity treatments typically modulate single targets and we believe that these have been limited by toxicity and modest efficacy. Bariatric surgery and related devices, meanwhile, are highly invasive and recommended only for the most severe patients.

So, we asked

What if you could swallow a capsule with safe non-caloric particles that would expand in your stomach to make you feel full?

The result was Gelesis

Gelesis is developing a therapy (Gelesis100) to potentially fulfill the unmet need for a product that can safely induce significant weight loss. Gelesis100 was developed for people who are overweight or who have obesity, as well as people with impaired fasting glucose and diabetes who would particularly benefit from weight reduction but for whom weight loss is often a challenge. We believe that a safe, effective treatment for obesity and diabetes (two of the largest health problems in the world) would have a major impact on human health.

View our pipeline