EnteroMedics rises on Maestro study data

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of EnteroMedics surged Tuesday after the company reported new clinical trial data for its Maestro system, which is designed to treat obesity by blocking nerves with electrical impulses.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based company said patients on the Maestro RC system lost 25 percent of their excess weight, or 10 percent of their total body weight, after 18 months. Patients who received a sham implant lost 12 percent of excess weight, or 4 percent of their total weight. The company is running a five-year study of the system.

Shares of EnteroMedics Inc. climbed 46 cents, or 33.6 percent, to $1.83 in morning trading. Its shares had been down 51 percent for the year so far.

The Maestro system is an implant designed to deliver intermittent electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve, making patients feel less hungry and more satisfied. EnteroMedics said the device’s two electrodes are implanted in laparoscopic surgical procedures, which could make the device system a less invasive alternative to other weight-loss surgeries. The device has an external battery that needs to be recharged weekly. EnteroMedics compares it to a pacemaker.

The system is approved in Europe and Australia, but not the U.S.

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