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Allergan Acquisition Fights Obesity

Adding to its portfolio of weight control products, Allergan Inc. (Irvine, CA) has bought EndoArt SA, a Swiss company that focuses on treating morbid obesity. EndoArt manufactures EASYBAND, a remote-controlled gastric band that is implanted in the upper stomach and adjusted based on weight loss needs via a control unit. Allergan, which purchased EndoArt for $97 million, will be seeking FDA approval of the wireless device after it completes clinical studies in the United States.

The company already makes LAP-BAND, the only adjustable implant device for individual weight loss approved in the country. Allergan also manufactures a nonsurgical intragastic balloon that is used outside the United States to treat obesity. According to an article in the Red Herring, Johnson & Johnson will be providing some competition, as it's slated to enter the U.S. market with its Swedish Adjustable Gastric Band this year. Its subsidary Ethicon Endo-Surgery has already  made the product available in Europe.

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