San Jose, Calif.-based Rani Therapeutics has some seriously big-name backers: Alphabet (NSDQ:GOOGL), Novartis (NYSE:NVS) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) have all invested in the startup. This month, the company raised $38.7 million as part of a $126.5 million offering of equity and options or warrants, according to an SEC filing.
So far, 12 investors have contributed to the offering. Rani Therapeutics also said that it plans to set aside some of the money for sales commissions.
The company’s technology looks to provide an alternative to needle-based injections as a drug-delivery route. Rani has created a robotic pill that travels through the stomach and eventually reaches the intestine, where the device injects the drug directly into the intestinal wall.
The needles will later dissolve naturally after injecting the drug, according to the company.
The device has yet to be used with patients, as the company is still in its preclinical stage. But Rani plans to apply its technology to convert injectable drugs, like insulin, into oral pills.
In mid-2015, the company inked a collaboration with Novartis to evaluate Rani’s oral biotherapeutics drug delivery platform.
Last year, Rani announced a partnership with MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics R&D arm, to assess the company’s technology for use in the metabolic disease field.