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US family office invests in weight loss pill

A US family office is among the investors in a new weight loss pill that aims to treat obesity, weight issues and diabetes in a non-invasive way.

Clinical stage company Gelesis raised $12 million (€8.7 million) in its latest round of fundraising to develop its lead product Gelesis100.

The pill is designed to suppress feelings of hunger without the use of invasive procedures, such as surgery.

Connecticut-based Pritzker/Vlock Family Office is among the investors who have contributed to the latest round of funding, which aims to advance the pill towards commercialisation. In total the company has raised $42 million for the therapy.

The family office is the investment vehicle of Karen Pritzker, daughter of Marmon Group co-founder Robert Pritzker, and her husband, Michael Vlock.

It manages a portfolio of consumer, biotech, industrial and medical equipment and technology businesses, as well as public equities, venture funds and real estate.

Professor of medicine and paediatrics at Boston University’s medical school Dr Caroline Apovian has described Gelesis100 as a “potential game changer”, saying the pill represents a new class of therapies in weight loss control.

According to the World Health Organisation, the prevalence of obesity in adults nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008 to 1.4 billion. Around 350 million people worldwide have diabetes. 

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