Rani Therapeutics, a San Jose, California based company that is developing oral methods of delivering insulin has received a strong investment of over $10 million from Google Ventures and InCube ventures.
Oral forms of insulin have to date proved elusive for researchers as the insulin molecule is easily broken down by the body’s digestive system. The challenge is to create a pill that will survive the stomach and be able to deliver its dose into the wall of the small intestine.
If this can be achieved, it will also be important that the dose demonstrates a consistent effect on blood glucose levels so that it can prevent hyperglycemia (too high sugar levels) whilst avoiding hypoglycemia (too low sugar levels).
Rani Therapeutics is not the only company aiming to create an insulin pill. Oramed, an Israeli company, is a strong contender with a medication currently undergoing phase II trials. Other companies vying to develop oral insulin are Danish company Novo Nordisk, New York based Bristol-Myers Squibb and from India, Biocon.
Rani Therapeutics is currently concentrating on delivering basal insulin, which could have use in people with diabetes that rely on taking injections of background insulin. If the pill is developed, it could end the need to inject for a significant number of people with type 2 diabetes and could reduce the number of injections needed by 1 or 2 a day for people with type 1 diabetes.

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