At some point in the future, you may no longer need to suffer through injections to have certain medications administered. The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis and the US biotech startup Rani Therapeutics have revealed they will together in developing a “robotic pill” that could simply be swallowed and then deliver drugs to the body via needles made of sugar. This has the potential to make taking certain medication much more convenient for patients, as it could be a new delivery method for drugs that have never been possible in pill form before.
Speaking to Reuters, Rani Therapeutics says that once a robotic pill is swallowed, it will use needles made of sugar to push into the walls of the intestines and inject medication into the bloodstream. This could be used in situations where a drug’s compounds would be broken down in the stomach if it were ingested in a traditional manner.
Rani will need to conduct tests for the next two years or so to determine which of Novartis’ medications could be delivered with a robotic pill. However, some examples of conditions that could potentially benefit from the new treatment method include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
For Novartis, this wouldn’t be the first attempt at coming up with a high-tech solution for a medical condition. Last year the company worked with Google to develop smart contact lenses, capable of tracking a wearer’s blood glucose levels or adjust an eye’s ability to focus.