Clinical Promising Results from Gelesis Study Show Stomach-Filling Capsule as...

Promising Results from Gelesis Study Show Stomach-Filling Capsule as Potential Alternative to GLP-1s for Weight Loss


Gelesis, a company specializing in oral hydrogel technology, received FDA clearance in 2019 for its weight-loss treatment, Plenity. Clinical trials showed that Plenity helped around 60% of users reduce their body weight by at least 5% over a six-month period. A recent study confirms that Plenity maintains its effectiveness in real-world scenarios.

Plenity is a prescription-only treatment that requires taking three capsules along with 16 ounces of water, 20 minutes prior to having lunch and dinner. Once in the stomach, the capsules disintegrate and leave behind gel-like particles that mimic the properties of raw vegetables. These particles take up space in the stomach, leading to a sensation of fullness and prolonging satiety.

The current approval for Plenity is limited to individuals with a body mass index (BMI) ranging from 25 to 40. It is designed to be used alongside a doctor-approved diet and exercise plan. The clinical studies for Plenity encompassed patients with various BMIs, including those with and without Type 2 diabetes.

Gelesis presented the results of a real-world analysis at the American Diabetes Association’s annual scientific sessions. The analysis focused on the records of nearly 900 patients who were prescribed Plenity through Ro, Gelesis’ telehealth partner in the United States. The majority of these patients were women, with an average BMI slightly above the clinical threshold for obesity (31) and an average age of 50.

According to the analysis, approximately 86% of Plenity users experienced weight loss after six months of treatment. Among those who responded to the treatment, the average weight reduction was around 9%. Interestingly, most participants reported no changes to their diet or physical activity levels while taking the capsules. Gelesis highlighted that individuals who initially reported the lowest diet quality had the highest likelihood of responding positively to the hydrogel therapy. This finding suggests that Plenity’s effects resemble those achieved by consuming a substantial amount of raw vegetables.

Elaine Chiquette, Pharm.D., one of the authors of the study, remarked that these results support the idea of considering Plenity alongside popular GLP-1 agonist medications like Wegovy, developed by Novo Nordisk, as a weight-loss aid when combined with diet and exercise plans. Chiquette emphasized the importance of recognizing the need for diverse treatment options in managing excess weight and obesity, including therapies that are accessible, affordable, and clinically proven.

Gelesis’ Plenity treatment, based on oral hydrogel technology, consistently demonstrates weight-loss results in real-world settings. Its unique mechanism of action, simulating the effects of raw vegetables, offers a potential alternative for weight management when used alongside diet and exercise plans. The study’s findings underline the necessity of multiple treatment options and accessible therapies for effective weight management.

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