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Vibrant Capsule for Chronic Idiopathic Constipation

Chronic constipation can be a debilitating condition that has serious social impacts for patients, but the medical therapies currently available are often unsatisfactory or have side effects, such as diarrhea and incontinence, that exacerbate these impacts. A new capsule technology developed by Vibrant Gastro—with the participation of Eamonn Quigley, MD, David M. Underwood Chair of Medicine in Digestive Disorders and Director of the Underwood Center—offers an innovative new approach to this problem.

The Vibrant capsule, currently under FDA review, is a non-pharmaceutical, orally-ingested programmable pill that vibrates within the colon to resynchronize the body’s circadian rhythm and stimulate natural intestinal motility. In a recent phase III clinical trial, Vibrant significantly improved patient symptoms compared to placebo without adverse events, thus demonstrating that Vibrant is a safe and effective therapy for constipation.
Eamonn Martin Quigley, MD David M. Underwood Chair of Medicine in Digestive Disorders, Department of Medicine Professor of Medicine, Academic Institute Director, Lynda K. and David M. Underwood Center for Digestive Disorders Houston Methodist Weill Cornell Medical College
This successful trial is the culmination of a lengthy development and testing process that relied on human studies to determine how long after ingestion the capsule should activate, how long and at what frequency it should vibrate, what the period of its on/off cycle should be, and how often it should be taken. “It’s been a wonderful journey,” Dr. Quigley says. “This capsule technology has a lot of potential. It’s a totally novel approach” that could have other applications in gastrointestinal medicine in the future. Dr. Quigley anticipates that the Vibrant capsule may be approved and available for patients with chronic constipation by early next year.