Near the beginning of our talk with CFO Svai Sanford, he tells us he once received a job offer, to which he had replied, “Are you sure? I do not have any experience in this sector.”
His future boss then replied: “You will figure it out.”
At first, we were left wondering whether there had been something more that the future boss had known about Sanford—perhaps a piece of contributing evidence that had made him feel confident that Sanford could acclimate and succeed.
“There’s something in me that has always allowed me to figure things out,” Sanford had confided.
Sanford’s choice of words—“something in me”—we found intriguing.
Certainly, there is no shortage of problem-solving exercises along any CFO’s path, but Sanford had already told us that his career track had likely been different from that of other CFOs—and we had sensed that the “something” to which he had been referring had not yet been disclosed to us. – Jack Sweeney
NOW WATCH (excerpt)
CFOTL: Tell us about Rani Therapeutics … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Sanford: I think that Rani is about as unique as my career thus far. Rani Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotech company that has developed a very novel disruptive technology platform called the RaniPill. The RaniPill is capable of delivering, in an oral capsule, any biologic drugs, including proteins, peptides, and antibodies. This is not your ordinary pill.
The mechanism itself then has a self-inflating balloon that contains two reactants separated by a dissolvable valve. The two reactants are the same as the chemicals in Alka-Seltzer. When you drop an Alka-Seltzer into water, it fizzles, it makes bubbles, it creates gas. Exposure of these reactants to the intestinal fluid creates the same gas, which dissolves the valve, which allows the two reactants to mix, which creates carbon dioxide. This gas then inflates the balloon, which creates enough pressure to inject the dissolvable needle into the intestinal wall. The injection is pain-free, if only because our intestinal wall has no sharp pain receptors. The balloon then deflates and is passed out safely. In the case of drug delivery, the needle dissolves and the drug is quickly absorbed.Read More
We have thus far tested 14 drug molecules in preclinical studies and completed two Phase 1 studies. This thing works. It’s a very unique, crazy idea, right? But it does work. We have delivered almost 7,000 capsules in animal studies and almost 200 capsules in the human ones. Approximately 100 human subjects have taken the RaniPill, including in a 7-day repeated dosing study that we did late last year. Drug absorption with the RaniPill is on a par with that from a Sub-Q—and in some cases is even better.
The challenge in this industry has always been that you could not deliver biologics through a capsule or pill because our stomach is made to defend against anything that comes into our body so that we don’t get infected. Enzymes would always break down a traditional, chemistry-based pill before it could get absorbed. The RaniPill is essentially an injection, but an injection into a very unique area of our body via a very unique method, which is why we can get a drug onboard.
Many thanks to our CFO guest Svai Sanford and the folks at Rani.