Today Apollo Endosurgery announced that they’ve acquired the Obesity Intervention division from Allergan. Allergan’s primary bariatric product is the well-known Lap Band, which is a small silicon ring that get placed around the upper portion of the stomach. In addition to the Lap Band, Apollo’s purchase includes the ORBERA Intra-gastric Balloon System which is a non-surgical weight loss alternative. The balloon system is not approved for sale in the US currently, but is approved in over 40 other countries. The sale included an initial cash payment of $75 million, an initial equity interest of $15 million, and up to an additional $20 million depending on milestones.
The Lap Band has been in the news lately, especially with Governor Chris Christie’s visible weight loss in the past 6 months after undergoing Lap Band surgery. NFL coaches Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan also have lost considerable weight recently with the band. Speaking about the acquisition, David Pyott, CEO of Allergan said: “We are pleased to enter into a definitive agreement with Apollo Endosurgery regarding the sale of our obesity intervention business. We are confident that Apollo Endosurgery has the management expertise, industry experience and commitment to innovation that will be essential to the continued clinical development and future advancement of the LAP-BAND and ORBERA franchises.”
We spoke with Dr Marina Kurian in NY who said “Apollo is a company uniquely positioned in the obesity market. The acquisition will increase their global reach as well as help put forward both the Lap Band and ORBERA products. This puts a unified focus on the treatment of obesity that had been lacking with the diverse portfolio at Allergan.”
In a letter from Apollo CEO Dennis Williams, he talks about both the band and the balloon system saying, “We believe there is an opportunity to grow both franchises and we plan to invest in these new offerings.” Although Apollo’s name is not as well-know to the general public, many surgeons are familiar with them because of their existing line of endoscopic surgical devices.