Innovation in Minimally-invasive Gastroenterology Treatment for Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes


Collaborating Entities:  Allium Medical from Israel and Medical Engineering Research & Commercialization Initiative (MERCI) of NUS (National University of Singapore)

The Collaborations:
The development of the Allevetix GDS device was underwritten by SIIRD, the Singapore-Israel Industrial Research & Development Foundation.

In the project, Allium was responsible for the development of the GDS sleeve, which involved its mechanical design and stress testing. MERCI was responsible for the development of the anchoring system, including the prototype design and testing. Both companies worked together on developing the sleeve-anchor connector, design verification testing, and animal and clinical studies.

Who is Allium Medical?
Allium Medical Solutions Ltd. is a publicly traded company (TASE: ALMD) which develops, manufactures and markets minimally invasive products internationally. These innovative products benefit the patient by improving and shortening their recovery process. Allium Medical Solutions’ products are used by physicians to treat a wide range of diseases and patients worldwide. 
Allium delivers medical devices to 30 countries worldwide. It’s 40-member staff is headquartered in Caesarea, Israel. 

The Role of SIIRD 
Established in 1997, the Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (SIIRD) is a co-operation between the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Israel Innovation Authority to promote, facilitate, and support joint industrial R&D projects between companies from Israel and Singapore, which would lead to successful commercialization.

SIIRD funded the project between Allium Medical Ltd and the Medical Engineering Research & Commercialization Initiative (MERCI) of NUS (National University of Singapore) that generated research on Allevetix, providing financial support of nearly half of the project’s R&D expenditures.  

Successful Innovation

The Challenge
According to World Health Organization data from 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults across the globe were obese. Type 2 Diabetes, a disease for which Obesity is a known risk factor, accounts for 90-95% of all Diabetes diagnoses. Research has shown that diet and exercise alone are often not enough to permanently treat Obesity and associated diseases. While Obesity patients treated with bariatric surgeries have the greatest long-term results, few (just 1% of the 18 million surgery-eligible Americans) ever undergo the surgery because of its perceived invasiveness, worry about morbidity, and high costs that are not generally covered by insurance providers. As such, many Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes patients go without the treatment most likely to encourage remission of their disease(s).

The Innovation
Allium Medical’s Allevetix minimally-invasive Gastro-duodenal sleeve mimics the malabsorption processes initiated through Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Positioned in the proximal small intestine, the GDP prevents food from contacting the intestinal walls and effectively creates bypass of this section of the small intestine. The resulting caloric restriction induces weight loss that directly impacts Obesity and the metabolic illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes. In just two weeks, Allevetix produces results without the pain, cost, slow recovery process, or risk of surgery. The device can be easily removed should complications arise or to cease treatment.

The Global Impact
The Allevetix GDS device has the potential to promote remission in millions of obese and diabetic patients across the globe. The product is currently in end-stages of development and is expected to be ready for human clinical trials toward the end of 2017. Allium intends to continue to promote development activities with the aim of joining an international strategic partner upon the completion of the project and pending successful clinical trials.

The market for this treatment is expected to reach $2.3 billion by 2018.