BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gelesis, a biotechnology company developing a novel hydrogel platform technology to treat obesity and other chronic diseases related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020.
The list honors the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s fast-changing world. Gelesis earned the standing of #5 in the biotech category. This year’s full Most Innovative Companies list features 434 businesses from 39 countries.
The first product based on Gelesis’ patented hydrogel, Plenity™, an orally administered, non-systemic and non-stimulant aid to weight management, was cleared for use by the FDA in adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25–40 kg/m2, when used in conjunction with diet and exercise. It is the only prescription weight management product indicated for use by overweight adults with a BMI as low as 25 kg/m2, making it available for the largest number of adults affected by overweight and obesity of any prescription weight-management aid.
Gelesis’ product pipeline includes possible treatments for a range of GI diseases, including NASH and NAFLD, type 2 diabetes, chronic constipation, and weight management in adolescent overweight and obesity.
“Our mission is to improve the lives of the millions of people struggling with excess weight and it’s an incredible honor to be recognized for that work,” said Yishai Zohar, CEO and founder of Gelesis. “This recognition from Fast Company kicks off an exciting year with the initial commercial launch of Plenity later in 2020.”
Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses on the planet and across myriad industries. They also judged nominations received through their application process.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.
“At a time of increasing global volatility, this year’s list showcases the resilience and optimism of businesses across the world. These companies are applying creativity to solve challenges within their industries and far beyond,” said Fast Company senior editor Amy Farley, who oversaw the issue with deputy editor David Lidsky.
Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March/April 2020) is now available online at fastcompany.com/most-innovativecompanies/2020, as well as in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning March 17, 2020. The hashtag is #FCMostInnovative.
Gelesis is developing a novel hydrogel platform technology to treat overweight and obesity and chronic diseases related to the GI pathway. Gelesis’ proprietary approach is designed to act mechanically in the GI pathway to potentially alter the course of certain chronic diseases. In April 2019, Gelesis received FDA clearance for its lead product candidate, Plenity™, as an aid for weight management in overweight and obese adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25-40 kg/m2, when used in conjunction with diet and exercise. Gelesis anticipates Plenity will be available by prescription in the U.S. in the second half of 2020. Additionally, Gelesis is developing its second investigational candidate, Gelesis200, a hydrogel optimized for weight loss and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Novel hydrogel mechanotherapeutics based on the Gelesis platform technology are also being advanced in other GI inflammatory conditions, such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC).
The Gelesis executive and advisory team includes some of the world’s leading experts in obesity, materials science, chronic disease research, and commercialization. Gelesis was co-founded by PureTech Health (LSE: PRTC), a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing highly differentiated medicines for devastating diseases. For more information, visit gelesis.com or connect with us on Twitter @GelesisInc.
Plenity™ is an oral, non-systemic, superabsorbent hydrogel which has received FDA clearance as an aid in weight management in overweight and obese adults with a BMI of 25–40 kg/m2, when used in conjunction with diet and exercise. It is made by cross-linking two naturally derived building blocks, modified cellulose and citric acid, that create a three-dimensional matrix. Plenity particles rapidly absorb water in the stomach and homogenously mix with ingested foods. Rather than forming one large mass, it creates thousands of small individual gel pieces with the elasticity (firmness) of solid plant-based foods (e.g., vegetables) without caloric value. The Plenity hydrogel increases the volume and elasticity of the stomach and small intestine contents and induces a feeling of fullness and satiety. Once it arrives in the large intestine, the hydrogel is partially broken down by enzymes and loses its three-dimensional structure along with most of its absorption capacity. The released water is reabsorbed in the large intestine, and the remaining cellulosic material is eliminated through the body’s natural digestive processes. PLENITY is considered a medical device because it achieves its primary intended purpose through mechanical modes of action consistent with mechanobiology constructs. For more information, visit myplenity.com.
Important Safety Information
- PLENITY is contraindicated in patients who are pregnant or are allergic to cellulose, citric acid, sodium stearyl fumarate, gelatin or titanium oxide.
- PLENITY may alter the absorption of medications.
- Avoid use in patients with the following conditions: esophageal anatomic anomalies, including webs, diverticuli, and rings; suspected strictures (such as patients with Crohn’s disease); or complications from prior gastrointestinal (GI) surgery that could affect GI transit and motility.
- Use with caution in patients with active GI conditions such as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers or heartburn.
- Overall, the most common treatment related adverse events were GI-related with 38% of adults in the PLENITY group and 28% of adults in the placebo group.
- The overall incidence of adverse events (AEs) in the PLENITY group was no different than the placebo group.
Rx Only. For the safe and proper use of PLENITY, refer to the Instructions for Use.
ABOUT FAST COMPANY
Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Since 2011, Fast Company has received some of the most prestigious editorial and design accolades, including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) National Magazine Award for “Magazine of the Year,” Adweek’s Hot List for “Hottest Business Publication,” and six gold medals and 10 silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta and the publisher is Amanda Smith. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at www.fastcompany.com.