Stomach stapler for the obese gets $30 million

With TOGa, doctors can staple your stomach without cutting you open.

Toga...toga.

If you hear someone chanting that in a hospital, they probably aren't repeating dialogue from Animal House. They are asking for the latest in obesity technology.

Satiety, which has created the TOGa procedure for stapling a stomach without surgery, has raised $30 million in a fourth round of funding. Investors included Skyline Ventures, HLM Venture Partners and Venrock.

"We have been watching the obesity device space for a number of years and finally found an investment that we found compelling," said John Freund of Skyline in a prepared statement.

The TOGa procedure is intended to be far less invasive than current techniques for stomach stapling, which help curb appetites by reducing the size of a person's stomach. With TOGa, a device is slipped down a patient's throat, thereby reducing the recovery time and potential for complications. Surveys show that surgery prompts many patients to decline to undergo full treatment.

Approximately 22 million adults in the U.S. are considered morbidly obese, according to Satiety, and another 50 million are obese, making obesity a major health concern.

TOGa is in the investigation stage and hasn't been approved yet for actual use yet.

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    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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