Robotic pill delivers osteoporosis treatment

BioTechniques News
Aisha Al-Janabi

An injectable osteoporosis drug can now be delivered orally thanks to a robotic pill that has a programmed injection mechanism.

Researchers at Rani Therapeutics (CA, USA) recently presented their ‘robotic pill’ at ENDO 2023, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society (15–18 June 2023; IL, USA). This pill offers an alternative delivery method for an effective osteoporosis drug that, until now, has only been delivered via injection. To make the drug more accessible and less painful, the team has engineered a pill to deliver the treatment orally.

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects bone strength, making bones more susceptible to breaks and fractures. The condition often affects the vertebrae, which if broken can lead to significant long-term pain. Currently, there are multiple medications and dietary supplements available for slowing the rate of bone thinning, which can be delivered orally or via injection; however, parathyroid hormone treatments are the only available treatments that actually stimulate cells to build bone. Teriparatide, a parathyroid hormone drug, is a proven and effective osteoporosis drug that, until recently, could only be delivered via daily injections [1].

Bacteria provide inspiration for novel therapeutic delivery approaches

Two different research groups  have harnessed natural bacterial systems to deliver therapeutic payloads.

To make parathyroid hormone treatments more accessible, the current team created a pill that is programmed to remain intact until it reaches the intestine, at which point a self-inflating balloon is released from the pill containing a microsyringe filled with teriparatide. This microsyringe then injects the intestinal wall, painlessly delivering the drug. Once the drug has been delivered, the needle dissolves and the delivery system deflates to move out of the body.

In a Phase I clinical trial, the researchers found that delivering teriparatide with this robotic pill resulted in comparable bioavailability to administration via injection.

The team is now working to test the robotic pill in osteoporosis patients, hoping that it will offer a painless, effective treatment that increases bone density and strength; it may also have implications for other injectable drugs for other diseases. “This breakthrough technology of converting injections into oral pills is a significant step forward towards ending the burden of painful injections for millions of patients suffering from chronic diseases,” commented Arvinder Dhalla, Head of Clinical Development at Rani Therapeutics.

The post Robotic pill delivers osteoporosis treatment appeared first on BioTechniques.

Full BioTechniques Article here

Powered by WPeMatico