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Obalon Clinches First US Patent For Obesity Treatment Placement System

Shanthi Rexaline

Obalon Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: OBLN) shares have continued to be volatile — and that's no surprise, given that most low-float, low-volume stocks are susceptible to trader manipulation.

After spiking above the $1 mark a week ago on unfounded rumors of a takeover by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Obalon shares hit a high of $1.92 before giving back some of their gains.

The stock was finding renewed buying interest Tuesday. 

What Happened

Medtech company Obalon announced Tuesday that it has been issued patent No. 10,264,995 pertaining to its intragastric devices. The patent is titled "Systems and Methods For Locating And/Or Characterizing Intragastric Devices."

Obalon boasts of the first and only FDA-approved swallowable, gas-filled intragastric balloon system for the treatment of obesity.

Incidentally, the company presented expanded clinical data from a large-scale, commercial-use study of the system at the Digestive Disease Week 2019 annual conference May 27, which showed patients receiving three balloons and six months of therapy attained a weight loss of 21.7 pounds, resulting in a 10.2-percent reduction in total body weight.

Obalon said the newly issued patent covers multiple aspects of the Obalon Navigation System, including dynamic tracking using internal and external sensors, with an external electromagnetic field.

The company said it now has 20 patents issued in the U.S. and 31 patents internationally covering the balloon system, with 25 pending patent applications in the U.S. and 55 in international territories, respectively.

Why It's Important

Patents fortify the company's products against competition.

"We believe this patent provides protection against anyone else entering the market, either with a gas-filled or liquid-filled balloon, that wants to use a similar system to avoid the extra costs and considerable logistics of using x-ray during placement," Obalon CTO Mark Brister said in a statement. 

The positive news should give a boost to shares of Obalon, which recently received delisting notification from Nasdaq. In April, the company announced plans to explore strategic and financial alternatives in a bid to stay afloat.

Obalon shares were trading up by 3.91 percent to $1.33 at the time of publication Tuesday. 

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