The funds will be devoted to Rani Therapeutics’ platform to convert injectable drugs, including TNF-alpha inhibitors, such as the world’s best-selling drug Humira (adalimumab), Amgen’s Enbrel (etanercept) and Type 1 diabetes drug basal insulin, into oral pills.
For basal insulin, Rani might run into some stiff competition with established powerhouses like Novo Nordisk, or smaller biotechs like India’s Biocon and Tamarisk Technologies, developing similar oral therapies.
"We are keenly aware of the magnitude of the problem we are solving, and the potential impact this technology could have on the market," said Mir Imran, chairman and CEO of Rani Therapeutics. "We are seeing tremendous results from our pre-clinical studies. Google Ventures' investment is a great vote of confidence in our company, and we are looking forward to the next exciting phase in our development."
According to InCube, Rani has demonstrated greater than 50% oral bioavailability with its platform. The technology is currently in pre-clinical studies. The funding will support the further development of the company's novel approach for the oral delivery of large drug molecules including peptides, proteins, antibodies, RNAi therapies and select vaccines.
Rani also says that it is looking for pharmaceutical companies to partner with it to further develop the technology, according to its website.
"The oral delivery of large molecules is considered the Holy Grail of drug delivery," said Blake Byers, Google Ventures partner. "Imran and InCube Labs have a proven track record for solving some of the most challenging problems in medicine."
Imran has helped to establish more than 20 life sciences companies in his career, 15 of which have either been acquired or gone public.