Modern medicine performs miracles every day, and pharmaceuticals play a large role in this. Drugs can restore physiological balance, fight infections, and replace chemicals that the body may no longer be able to produce for itself. For many conditions from high blood pressure to high cholesterol, there’s a pill for that. But there are some assignments that pills just can’t handle. Because you swallow a pill, the contents must pass through your digestive system which is designed to break down complex compounds. As a result, some drugs such as insulin or hormones cannot survive long enough to be absorbed into the blood stream. As a result, the only reliable way to deliver these drugs is by injecting them either under the skin or into muscle tissue.

Rani Therapeutics is a company that may have found a better way. Their researchers have developed a smart pill that can protect the payload as it passes through the stomach. Once in the intestine, the capsule uses tiny needles to inject the drug into the walls of the small intestine. The process is painless and the needles dissolve once their job is finished. If this process is reliable, it made many medicines more convenient to administer.

The company just received a big vote of confidence. The Swiss pharma giant Novartis has agreed to collaborate with Rani to conduct feasibility trials over the next two years. If the technology meets its goals, Novartis will have the option to further collaboration or licensing the technology for its own use. If this new pill succeeds, it will be yet another modern medical miracle that has the potential to help patients be more independent in managing their treatment.