EnteroMedics (ETRM) Says vBloc Neurometabolic Therapy Now Available at VA Facilities

October 5, 2016 7:10 AM EDT

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EnteroMedics Inc. (Nasdaq: ETRM) announced that vBloc Neurometabolic Therapy is now available to U.S. veterans at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities. This is made possible through the previously-announced EnteroMedics partnership with Academy Medical, LLC, a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in the distribution of medical products to VA and Department of Defense (DoD) facilities. As of October 1, 2016, vBloc was added to Academy Medical's five year sole source agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that allows any VA surgeon in the U.S. to purchase the vBloc System from Academy Medical under a national contract.

"VA surgeons across the U.S. now have access to a safe and effective treatment option for obesity," said Sachin Kukreja, M.D., Director, Bariatric Surgery, VA North Texas Health Care System. "Our center has extensive experience and success with vBloc Therapy and we look forward to expanding the reach of this exciting new treatment to eligible obese patients who do not wish to undergo anatomy-altering, restrictive surgeries."

"We are very pleased that VA surgeons now have the ability to treat over one million eligible veterans fighting obesity with vBloc Therapy," said Dan Gladney, EnteroMedics' President and Chief Executive Officer. "The veterans of our armed services, as well as all patients, deserve access to every option that may help in their battle against obesity. We look forward to working closely with the VA and Academy Medical to train VA surgeons so they are prepared to offer vBloc Therapy and perform implants as soon as possible."

vBloc Therapy works to control sensations of hunger using a pacemaker-like device that is implanted under the skin during a safe, minimally-invasive procedure. The device helps patients feel full and in turn is a key tool in achieving clinically meaningful weight loss. When patients feel the sensation of fullness, they are able to control their appetite and lose weight without the major lifestyle implications of traditional bariatric surgeries. Unlike traditional surgical weight loss, vBloc Therapy is a long-term solution which, if necessary, can be safely disabled or removed without leaving permanent damage to patient anatomy.

The vBloc System is approved for use in helping with weight loss in people aged 18 years and older who are obese, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 to 45 kg/m2, or a BMI of 35 to 39.9 kg/m2 with a related health condition such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or obstructive sleep apnea.

"Academy Medical is pleased to be able to work with both the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and EnteroMedics to provide veterans with easy access to this revolutionary and cutting edge weight loss option," said Dan Shaw, Founder and President of Academy Medical, LLC. "This agreement is another example of how we are able to deliver on our shared mission to provide innovative medical devices like vBloc to VA hospitals."

The Veterans Health Administration operates one of the largest health care systems in the world and provides training for a majority of America's medical, nursing and allied health professionals. Roughly 60 percent of all medical residents obtain a portion of their training at VA hospitals, and VA medical research programs benefit society at-large.

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