Rani Therapeutics announced that it has entered into a collaboration with MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, to evaluate Rani's novel oral drug delivery platform.

The companies have agreed to conduct feasibility studies over the next two years, in which Rani will test select biologic molecules in the area of metabolic disease to evaluate the oral delivery of these molecules.

Upon successful completion of the feasibility studies, AstraZeneca and MedImmune will have the right to enter into a more extensive collaboration with Rani.

Founded in 2012 and spun out of InCube Labs, Rani is developing a technology platform to convert injectable drugs such as TNF-alpha inhibitors, interleukin antibodies, basal insulin and GLP-1 among others into oral pills.

The company has demonstrated bioavailability similar to subcutaneous injections in early pre-clinical studies, and has recently begun developing partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to test its platform with selected drugs.

"MedImmune has a growing portfolio of innovative biologics in the area of cardiovascular/metabolic disease, which is an important therapeutic area for AstraZeneca and MedImmune," said Gail Wasserman, Senior Vice President, Biopharmaceutical Development, MedImmune.

"Success in this program coupled with Rani’s technology could represent an innovative solution for delivering biologics orally to metabolic disease patients."

"Our mission is to deliver biologics orally which would increase compliance and improve the lives of millions of patients worldwide," said Mir Imran, Chairman & CEO, Rani Therapeutics.

"Our partnership with AstraZeneca and MedImmune marks our second collaboration with a multinational pharmaceutical company over the last year. These partnerships are major milestones for Rani and represent great validation of the potential of our technology."

Rani announced a collaboration with Novartis in May 2015. Investors in Rani Therapeutics include Novartis, Google Ventures, InCube Ventures and VentureHealth.