TechCrunch Interviews SmartTab Founder and CEO for Disrupt 2020

By Sacha Heppell - September 15, 2020

 

Interview Transcript

Robert Niichel, SmartTab Founder and CEO

We develop and market an innovative ingestible capsule that brings injection technology from a needle and syringe to an internal capsule to provide injections. The main problem we're looking at today is using our SmartTab platform technology to bring the antiquated process of a needle and syringe for individuals who have to perform self-injection for things like Enbrel, Humira, insulin, and move that to an ingestible capsule, to where the capsule would then provide the injection technology.

Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch Writer

Tell me a little bit about your company. When was it founded and where are you based?

Robert Niichel, SmartTab Founder and CEO

We're based in Denver, Colorado in the United States. The company was founded in 2016, based upon our team's background in the pharmaceutical space and then combining those pharmaceutical technologies with wireless technologies.

Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch Writer

Have you received any funding to date?

Robert Niichel, SmartTab Founder and CEO

We have. To date, we have completed a pre-series A funding round, a seed round. We have raised approximately $2.5 million through individual accredited investors.

Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch Writer

Great. And so tell me a little bit about your solution. How does it work? Is it an app based? Tell me a little bit more about that.

Robert Niichel, SmartTab Founder and CEO

Yeah, good question. So our technology does integrate with an app. The InjectTab, which is one of four of our platform technologies, is autonomous, so when you swallow the capsule, it is activated per location, pH, and a certain orientation to make sure that it's docked properly on the side of the stomach or the upper GI. So yes, there is an app that is integrated with this. The app then allows for additional flexibility on tracking, compliance, et cetera.

Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch Writer

And who are the sorts of people who would benefit from this technology?

Robert Niichel, SmartTab Founder and CEO

Yeah, really any patient who has a chronic disease, where they need to inject biologics. And certainly biologics have made a lot of advancements in the last 10 years. As we look at some of these diseases, like a Crohn's patient, 20 years ago, they would put them on steroids, suppressants. Right now, they go right to biologics. And so to be able to help that group, that would be a big deal. Patients who have diabetes, to be able to inject insulin perhaps once a day through a capsule. Anyone who currently has to perform self injection with a large molecule or biologics, to be able to bring those types of injections, which are typically associated with chronic diseases, into the capsule format.

Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch Writer

And how much will this cost for your customers?

Robert Niichel, SmartTab Founder and CEO

The largest lever will be the active ingredient. The capsule itself will be under $1 per unit. And that as the prescription medicine is folded in, certainly different costs around insulin versus Enbrel versus Humira, but it will have a relatively low cost impact to the end consumer with the large benefit, of course, being no more needles, syringes, moving into the capsules.

Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch Writer

Great. Best of luck. Thanks for joining us.

Robert Niichel, SmartTab Founder and CEO

Yeah. Thank you, Zack.

Watch the full interview on TechCrunch

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