Rani Therapeutics this week touted the results of a first-in-human feasibility trial for its swallowable robotic pill, the RaniPill.
Rani has developed a capsule that delivers an intestinal injection of medicine without exposing the drugs to digestive enzymes.
The RaniPill device travels through the stomach and eventually reaches the intestine, where it injects the drug directly into the intestinal wall. The company is positioning its technology as an alternative to needle-based injections.
In two groups of 10 participants apiece, people treated with a drug-free iteration of the RaniPill reported that the device was well tolerated. Neither group felt the capsule working in their stomach, according to Rani, and the presence or lack of food in the stomach did not affect the performance of the device.
“This is the first time a robotic pill was swallowed by humans – this really paves the way for the next study which will have a drug, and we will be able to measure drug levels,” CEO Mir Imran told Endpoints News.
The company plans to kick off a study of the its pill loaded with octreotide in the coming months, Imran told the news outlet.
In February last year, Rani raised $53 million to support manufacturing and clinical trials for its technology. The company has garnered support from groups like Novartis (NYSE:NVS), AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) and Alphabet’s GV arm.