New research collaboration tackles medical challenges of space flight

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Research Immunotherapies Immunotherapy Patient centricity

Biotechnology company Vaxxinity has announced its collaboration with the University of Central Florida (UCF) to advance space medicine research.

The research, funded by a grant from the State of Florida, aims to further the development of Vaxxinity’s active immunotherapies to prevent and mitigate muscle and bone wasting, which are key health challenges related to long-term spaceflight, and which share biological mechanisms implicated in highly prevalent age-related diseases.

“If humanity is to become a spacefaring species, solving fundamental problems related to space travel and living are table-stakes,” said Lou Reese, executive chairman of Vaxxinity.

“Vaxxinity is all-in on developing and commercializing these solutions, and working with the State of Florida and UCF, collectively, we strive to promote both healthy aging and ensure humanity can become multi-planetary, brave low gravity exposure, and be of the stars.

“The support for this research from the State of Florida exemplifies a commitment to pioneering solutions in the fields of space travel, as well as longevity and age-related diseases.”

Research will include studies to assess the effects of Vaxxinity’s immunotherapies on undisclosed proteins implicated with bone and muscle growth through in vitro and in vivo experiments, as well as animal models.

Vaxxinity’s platform is designed to harness and selectively activate the immune system by overcoming immune tolerance, stimulating the production of antibodies against endogenous targets. The company will provide materials including candidates derived from its platform to support the collaborative research at UCF.

“UCF was born as a university to support the space program, and the College of Medicine is continuing that mission, working to bring back to Earth the secrets that space medicine research can reveal,” said Dr. Deborah German, vice president for health affairs and dean of UCF’s College of Medicine.

“We look forward to collaborating with Vaxxinity on this research and applying their unique technology to benefit the aging population on our planet and future space travelers.”

Reese concludes: "The research we are doing targeted towards space-based physical challenges is directly translatable to issues faced by humanity here on Earth. We know what we do for tomorrow will yield results for today.”

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