Rani Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company offering an alternative to painful injections for patients with chronic conditions such as neuroendocrine tumours (NETS).
The company based in San Jose, California debuted on the Nasdaq last week in its first initial public offering.
How it works
Patients with conditions such as NETs can face monthly or daily injections which can be painful over time. It can also mean extra travel and financial pressures to reach clinics that may not be nearby.
Rani Therapeutics could offer an easier alternative for people to home-dose by taking a pill instead of injections.
The RaniPill capsule is the company’s patented platform technology that is designed to replace subcutaneous or IV injections of biologics with oral dosing. The innovative capsule can travel through the stomach and into the small intestine. It undergoes a transformation in which it aligns itself and injects the drug into the intestinal wall. The reactants mix and produce carbon dioxide which inflates a small balloon creating a pressure difference that helps to inject the drug-loaded needle into the intestinal wall.
Despite the mechanical sound procedure, there is no metal or springs contained in the pill which reduces the chance of an inflammatory response. The capsule is designed so that all the medicine stays inside the capsule until it is injected. It’s about the same size as a fish oil capsule making it easy to swallow with minimal discomfort.
The capsule can deliver a number of biologics from peptides to antibiotics. Rani believes that the technology could have application in delivering emerging cell and gene therapies.
Clinical Phase 1 test
The company posted positive results from a Phase 1 Clinical Trial in 2019 which demonstrated the effectiveness of the capsule in delivering octreotide. Octreotide (also known as Sandostatin) is a man-made, synthetic version of the natural hormone somatostatin. It is normally delivered through injection and behaves similarly to somatostatin.
Octreotide is often using with NETS as it slows down the production of hormones which helps to control symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. It ultimately slows down the growth of cancer.
Researchers discovered that the bioavailability of the Ranipill was greater than anticipated at over 70 per cent.
Development and funding
The idea for Rani was developed by Mir Imran, a medical inventor and entrepreneur. He has founded over 20 different life science companies. At the end of last year, Rani Therapeutics raised $69 million in new funding to help further develop the product. The company plan to use the pill for a number of different conditions such as the growth hormone disorder acromegaly, diabetes and osteoporosis.