News and Trends—July 2013

| July 12, 2013

Bariatric Times. 2013;10(7):22–25

GORE® SEAMGUARD® Bioabsorbable Staple Line Reinforcement Celebration

ELKTON, Maryland—On June 12, 2013, approximately 85 Associates from W. L. Gore & Associates in Elkton, Maryland participated in a 5K run/walk in celebration of the 10th anniversary of GORE® SEAMGUARD® Bioabsorbable Staple Line Reinforcement.
Given that one of the applications of the product is bariatric surgery, the team thought it would be fun to celebrate with a 5K run/walk charity event to promote a healthy lifestyle. In addition to the run/walk, outdoor games and activities were planned to raise money for charity. The celebration raised nearly $1,000 that was donated to the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC)
More than 1,000,000 GORE® SEAMGUARD® Bioabsorbable Staple Line Reinforcement devices have been implanted over the product life.

GORE® SEAMGUARD® Bioabsorbable Staple Line Reinforcement is a bioabsorbable staple line reinforcement specifically engineered to reduce the incidence of perioperative leaks and bleeding in a variety of open and minimally invasive surgeries. In these operations, leaks and bleeding of staple lines can be life-threatening complications, resulting in extended hospital stays and expensive treatments. Accordingly, the benefits of reducing these complications are shared by patients, surgeons, and hospitals.
Additional benefits of GORE® SEAMGUARD® Bioabsorbable Staple Line Reinforcement include the following:
• Most published clinical literature supporting leak reduction and reduced bleeding
• 100% bioabsorbable
• Uniform, thin material
• No complications reported from migrations or erosions
• Synthetic, no risk of animal source contamination.

Photos from the event

Covidien, the Living Heart Association, and the NFL Players Association Host “Teaming Up To Tackle Obesity” Syposium
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana—Former NFL athletes Corey Louchiey and James Thornton shared their personal weight loss stories with attendees of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Spring Event 2013 during the industry symposium “Teaming Up to Tackle Obesity.”
The symposium, sponsored by Covidien, the Living Heart Foundation (LHF), and the NFL Players Association, also featured comments from Dr. Neil Floch, Director of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery, Norwalk, Connecticut, who is Louchiey’s and Thornton’s physician. Thornton found success in getting his weight under control with bariatric surgery. Louchiey began his weight loss surgery when he decided to adhere to a strict vegan diet and exercise program. The symposium featured both men’s before and after photos.

In a cozy lounge-style discussion, the audience also heard from a panel of obesity experts that included Dr. Archie Roberts, LHF Founder and Director and former Chairman of the Department of Cardiiothoracic Surgery, Boston University Medical Center; and Dr. Henry Buchwald, LHF Bariatric Surgery Leader and Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota.

About the HOPE program. The HOPE (Heart, Obesity, Prevention, Education) program for Former NFL Players is an obesity management awareness program focused on promoting healthy lifestyles and weight management for retired professional football players. Data show that heavy NFL players are more likely to have cardiovascular and other health comorbidities than smaller sized men.
The goal of the program is to screen, educate and empower participants to improve the early identification of health risks in former elite athletes and to promote healthier lifestyles among the general public.

These athletes will serve as role models to the growing population of obese males, who, data show, are often reluctant to seek help.

To learn more and to join the HOPE program, visit www.covidien.com/nflhope.

Photos from the event

Obesity is a Disease: Leading Obesity Groups Agree
The undersigned groups applaud the American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) for adopting policy to recognize obesity as a disease state with multiple pathophysiological aspects requiring a range of interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention. “This is clearly a landmark day for the millions of Americans affected by obesity,” said Dr. Jeffrey I. Mechanick, President of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), which sponsored the resolution.

“Classifying obesity as a disease will reduce weight bias,” said Dr. Ethan Lazarus, AMA HOD Delegate for the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP), who spoke in favor of the policy during the full HOD meeting earlier today.  “It means that medical students and residents will receive training in what obesity is and in the best treatment approaches. It means that the medical community will have incentive to research and develop new and better prevention and treatment strategies. But most importantly, it communicates to individuals affected by obesity that this is a chronic disease, not a problem of personal responsibility,” added Lazarus.

“Similar to many other medical conditions, obesity is a complex, multifactorial chronic disease, requiring a multidisciplinary treatment approach. This approach must encompass the best standards of care, both in terms of the treatments chosen, and the care coordination and clinical environment in which they are delivered. Because of the complex nature of obesity and its variety of impacts on both physical and mental health, effective treatment requires the coordinated services of providers from several disciplines and professions (both physician and non-physician) within both of these treatment areas,” said AACE President Dr. Mechanick. “Adoption of this policy position by the AMA will help advocates in the obesity community address a number of key hurdles to individuals receiving critical medically necessary obesity treatment services.”

“The passage of this new policy reinforces the science behind obesity prevention and treatment, stated Ted Kyle, Chair of The Obesity Society’s Advocacy Committee. “Obesity is a complex condition with numerous causes, many of which are largely beyond an individual’s control. The disease is a driver of much suffering, ill health and early mortality. People affected are too often subjected to enormous social stigma and discrimination. Recognition of obesity as a disease can help to ensure more resources are dedicated to needed research, prevention and treatment We hope that it will encourage healthcare professionals to recognize obesity treatment as a needed and respected vocation, and also reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by the millions affected.” added Kyle.

“The AMA joins a number of leading organizations that have previously made this classification, including the National Institutes of Health (1998), the Social Security Administration (1999), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2004), The Obesity Society (2008) and the American Association for Clinical Endocrinology (2012),” added Dr. Jaime Ponce, President of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
“We are at a tipping point. The scientific consensus and the mountain of evidence that have been built around the disease of obesity and its treatment cannot be ignored,” added John Morton, MD, ASMBS Secretary-Treasurer, Access Chair and Associate Professor of Surgery at Stanford University. “Now patient access to proven treatments needs to improve so scientific consensus is aligned with coverage policy.”

AACE is grateful for the support of so many other members of the House of Medicine who actively spoke out in favor of this policy, including the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, American College of Cardiology, American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, American Urological Association, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, The Endocrine Society, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American College of Gastroenterology, Texas Medical Association, Connecticut Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Society of Thoracic Surgeons and Great Lakes Section Council (comprised of the state medical societies from Ohio, Illinois, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Indiana) and the Western Mountain Delegation (comprised of Medical Societies from Colorado, Nevada and idaho),” stated Dr. Mechanick with AACE, which sponsored and coordinated support for the resolution during the entire HOD process.
Access thepress release at http://asmbs.org/2013/06/obesity-is-a-disease-leading-obesity-groups-agree/

The centers for medicare and medicaid services announces Proposed Decision on Accreditation for Medicare Patients
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Responds
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced their Proposed Decision Memo for Bariatric Surgery for the Treatment of Morbid Obesity—Facility Certification Requirement (CAG-00250R3). The full memo can be found at http://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/nca-proposed-decision-memo.aspx?NCAId=266&NcaName=Bariatric+Surgery+for+the+Treatment+of+Morbid+Obesity+-+Facility+Certification+Requirement&TimeFrame=7&DocType=All&bc=AQAAIAAACAAAAA%3d%3d&.
Shortly after this announcement, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) President Dr. Jaime Ponce issued the following to ASMBS members:
“Dear ASMBS members,
CMS has released their proposed decision on the COE/Accreditation requirement for Medicare patients on June 27, 2013:
Proposed Decision Memo for Bariatric Surgery for the Treatment of Morbid Obesity – Facility Certification Requirement (CAG-00250R3)
The CMS proposal relates: “In light of the lack of sufficient evidence that the certified/COE bariatric facilities have provided improved outcomes in Medicare beneficiaries since the 2006 NCD, CMS proposes to eliminate the requirement for facility certification/COE designation. Given the history of two accreditation programs (i.e., the ASMBS and the ACS) as well as the ongoing establishment of a unified accreditation program by these two professional societies, we feel it is important the surgical community at large should continue to explore, define and measure the utility of bariatric surgery facility accreditation and quality improvement initiatives. In particular, we continue to be focused on outcomes, especially longer-term outcomes.”
The ASMBS leadership will prepare a vigorous response. All private payers indicate their willingness to continue to have an accreditation process, and we will continue our process. Medicare represents only 5-6% of the total bariatric surgery cases. In sum, patients and payers should value the benefits of an accredited center. The comment period will end July 26th, 2013.
We will keep you updated on this.
Jaime Ponce, MD, FACS, FASMBS
President, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

Obesity Community Supports the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2013
TAMPA, Florida—US Senators, Tom Carper (D-DE) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and US Representatives, Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Ron Kind (D-WI), introduced the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act. “This legislation will provide Medicare recipients and their healthcare providers with meaningful tools to treat and reduce obesity by improving access to obesity screening and counseling services, and new prescription drugs for chronic weight management,” said Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, Vice-Chairman of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Board of Directors and Chair of The Obesity Society’s Advocacy Committee.
Specifically, the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to highlight and provide additional information regarding Medicare coverage of intensive behavioral counseling for the disease of obesity for seniors and their doctors. This legislation also gives CMS the authority to enhance beneficiary access to the new Medicare benefit for intensive behavioral counseling services by allowing additional types of health care providers to offer these services. Finally, the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act allows CMS to provide coverage of prescription drugs under Medicare Part D for chronic weight management to individuals who are affected by obesity, or excess weight (classified as “overweight” according to body mass index) with one or more co-morbidities.

“Evidence-based literature clearly demonstrates that people affected by obesity can substantially improve their health and quality of life when they have access to a continuum of medically necessary treatment, including behavioral, nutritional, pharmaceutical, psychosocial, and surgical treatment,” said Laurie Traetow, Executive Director of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP). “Even a 5-to-10-percent weight loss produces clinically significant reductions in risk factors for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, mental illness, lipid disorders, sleep apnea, and certain cancers.”

“Similar to many other medical conditions, obesity is a complex, multifactorial chronic disease, requiring a multidisciplinary treatment approach. This approach must encompass the best standards of care, both in terms of the treatments chosen, and the care coordination and clinical environment in which they are delivered. Because of the complex nature of obesity and its variety of impacts on both physical and mental health, effective treatment requires the coordinated services of providers from several disciplines and professions (both physician and non-physician) within both of these treatment areas,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO. “Passage of this landmark legislation will address a number of key hurdles to Medicare recipients receiving critical medically necessary obesity treatment services.”

For more information, please visit www.obesityaction.org/treat-and-reduce-obesity-act.

MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s Biologics Arm, and NGM Biopharmaceuticals Announce Agreement to Discover and Develop Therapies for Diabetes and Obesity
LONDON, United Kingdom—AstraZeneca announced that MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, and NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. have entered into an exclusive agreement to discover, develop and commercialise novel therapeutics from NGM’s enteroendocrine cell (EEC) programme for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

EECs represent less than 1% of all gastrointestinal (GI) cells, but produce virtually all of the known GI hormones, including GLP-1. EECs are an underexplored source of novel hormones that could play a major role in the positive and negative regulation of metabolism and glucose homeostasis. NGM has established a proprietary platform capable of isolating and analysing EECs in order to identify novel secreted peptide hormones that are potentially linked to the profound metabolic effects of bariatric surgery and serve as potential targets for the treatment of metabolic diseases.
MedImmune and NGM will jointly advance first-in-class peptide and antibody drug candidates based on the discovered EEC hormones. MedImmune will have the option to license in these EEC targets, and will be responsible for the global development, manufacture and commercialisation of compounds resulting from the collaboration.

“We believe that hormones found in the gastrointestinal tract can play an important role in resolving diabetes after bariatric surgery. Through NGM’s innovative research in metabolic disease, we believe our collaboration could lead to potential innovative medicines for diabetes and obesity that will make a difference in patients’ lives,” said Cristina Rondinone, PhD, Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Innovative Medicines Unit, MedImmune. “Our partnership with NGM complements AstraZeneca’s existing small molecule and biologics portfolio in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, one of our core therapy areas.”

Under the terms of the agreement, MedImmune will make an upfront payment and provide NGM research funding over the course of the collaboration. If certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones are achieved, NGM will be entitled to receive various payments, as well as royalties on worldwide product sales.

“We are excited to enter into this strategic partnership with MedImmune as it represents a unique opportunity to maximise the full complement of novel hormones secreted by these EECs for drug discovery purposes,” said Jin-Long Chen, PhD, founder, president and chief scientific officer of NGM. “Together, NGM and MedImmune will build upon the culture of scientific excellence at both organisations. With MedImmune’s deep biologics and development expertise, we are confident that we will further enrich the pipeline of therapies for the treatment of diabetes and obesity.”
For more information, visit the following websites: www.astrazeneca.com, www.ngmbio.com, www.medimmune.com..

Tags:

Category: News and Trends, Past Articles

Comments are closed.