A new 24-month study on the EndoBarrier implant is set to commence to assess its potential in treating type 2 diabetes.
EndoBarrier is a small device that has been hailed as having the potential to bypass weight loss surgery. Made from fluoropolymer, which has a high resistance to acids, EndoBarrier is inserted into the small intestine for up to 12 months.
The device then prevents food from being absorbed, bypassing a section of upper intestine which allows less time for food to be digested. This also reduces resistance to insulin.
The study will involve 160 participants and compare EndoBarrier to standard medical therapy to manage type 2 diabetes in obese patients. It will be conducted by experts at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Southampton General Hospital.
Previous studies have seen positive results from EndoBarrier treatment. A 2011 pilot study demonstrated reduced blood glucose levels among type 2 patients, with the implant enabling them to receive less medication. The participants also achieved significant weight loss, similar to that achieved through gastric band surgery.
If EndoBarrier is proven to be a safe and effective treatment option for type 2 diabetes, researchers hope this could yield benefits that might be more successful than medication, diet and exercise.
Professor Julian Teare, study lead and consultant gastroenterologist at Imperial College London, said: “The use of a lower cost and less invasive alternative to bypass surgery may mean we can treat thousands more people living with type 2 diabetes every year.”
James Byrne, co-lead and consultant surgeon at Southampton General, added: “Other strategies for this condition are urgently required and our research will confirm whether or not EndoBarrier therapy can help to deliver and, more importantly, sustain improvements in diabetes control.”

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