From Salento to Wall Street, the Italian anti-obesity pill on the stock exchange

Jan 21, 2022 238

"They interviewed me after ringing the bell and asked me what it meant. I gave the example of Michelangelo, who said that in the piece of stone he already had the artwork, it was a matter of removing the excess matter. Here, today we have removed a part in excess, but the work of art will be reaching millions of people who have to fight against obesity and other diseases of the intestinal tract".

To speak is Alessandro Sannino, professor at the University of Salento, whose pill against obesity, produced by the Salento startup Gelesis of which he is the founder, was approved by the Fda in 2019, from 2021 on the market in the U.S. - in Europe it will arrive in 2023 - and from Friday is negotiated on the markets. "This morning we made the opening, ringing the bell at the Wall Street Stock Exchange," he tells ANSA from New York, still excited.

The start-up that gave life to Sannino's research, Gelesis, is based in Calimera, in the province of Lecce, where production, research and development are carried out, and another one in Boston where clinical trials and finance are followed.

Sannino, a researcher at the University of Naples with a postdoctoral position at MIT in Boston, has created this pill made of a "superabsorbent material - he explains - , the only one in the world that is entirely ingestible, based on cellulose derivatives, patented with my PhD and developed by the Gelesis team".

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