Apollo Endosurgery is selling its surgical product line, which includes the Lap-Band adjustable gastric banding system to its rival Reshape Medical. In addition, ReShape will deal its intra-gastric balloon line to Austin, TX-based Apollo. The transactions are worth about $17 million.
Now Apollo will have the ability to focus all its efforts on growing the clinical adoption of its Endo-bariatric product offerings, which consists of its OverStitch Endoscopic Suturing Systems and the Orbera Intragastric Balloon technologies.
The company said it will continue to manufacture the Surgical product line for the San Clemente-based company for up to two years. The ReShape intra-gastric balloon will also remain available for the near term, eventually commercial efforts exclusively on the Orbera intra-gastric balloon products.
Apollo picked up both the Orbera balloon and the Lap-Band device through its $110 million acquisition of Allergan's obesity intervention division in 2013.
The Orbera balloon, made of silicone, is placed into the stomach endoscopically while it is deflated, then it is filled with saline until it is about the size of a grapefruit, according to Apollo. The balloon is only in the stomach for six months, but patients continue to receive individually-tailored weight-loss support for a full year from a team of specialists.
Similarly, the ReShape balloon is also inserted endoscopically and filled with saline, and it too is removed after six months. The difference with this system is that it consists of two balloons attached to a flexible shaft, with the idea being that it will conform more easily to the natural shape of the patient's stomach to make it more tolerable, despite taking up more space in the stomach.
"Our Surgical product line has served an important purpose for us, but it is no longer a strategic fit with our focus on our Endo-bariatric products and therapies,” Todd Newton, Apollo’s CEO said in a release. “The future for therapeutic endoscopy is very promising, especially due to flexible endoscopic suturing delivered by our OverStitch technology. By allowing physicians to suture with precision and assurance from a flexible endoscope, OverStitch enables many improved core gastrointestinal and bariatric therapy options for physicians and their patients. We also remain very bullish on the potential of the intra-gastric balloon market. We believe it is in the best interest of Apollo’s customers and shareholders that we direct our attention exclusively to the growth opportunities being afforded to us from these products.”