A capsule that's designed to help people lose weight by temporarily expanding in their stomach in order to make them feel full just before meals is not the breakthrough some anticipated, a new study suggests.
After 12 weeks, people who took the capsule -- called Gelesis100 -- lost 6.1 percent of their weight, compared with 4.1 percent for people who were given a placebo.
That difference is "very modest" Dr. Daniel Bessesen, an endocrinologist at the University of Colorado, told The New York Times. He was not involved in the study.
"It doesn't look like a game changer," Bessesen added.
However, the findings presented Sunday at an endocrinology meeting in Chicago were hailed by Boston-based Gelesis, which developed the capsule. The company said it will launch a larger study next year in effort to win regulatory approval for the capsule.
"I'm definitely impressed, absolutely," study lead investigator Dr. Arne Astrup, head of the department of nutrition, exercise and sports at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, told The Times.
Gelesis100 is safer than many existing weight loss drugs, which act chemically on the brain to influence appetite, Astrup said.