Conducting research in microgravity is so unique that we are able to learn things about these microbes that we could not learn on the ground
Austin, TX (Vocus) February 9, 2010
Space Shuttle Endeavor lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center this morning, carrying on board the eighth scientific payload for Astrogenetix, a commercial biotech company created to use microgravity to develop the foundation of new medicines.
“Conducting research in microgravity is so unique that we are able to learn things about these microbes that we could not learn on the ground,” said John Porter, Chief Executive Officer of Astrogenetix. “By observing genetic changes within the microbes, we are hoping to identify biomarkers that will lead to a successful vaccine or therapeutic.”
The Company’s payload on Flight STS-130 consists of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) microbes in search of a target for a vaccine or therapeutic. Research will build on information gained during experiments conducted on board previous shuttle missions performed over the past year. On STS-130, Astrogenetix will continue to interrogate specific genes within a group of genes that show promise for identifying a vaccine or therapeutic candidate, to further narrow the scope of virulence determinants.
“The launch of STS-130 allows us to add to our data on potential druggable targets in MRSA, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with NASA to conduct this important work,” added Dr. Jeanne Becker, Chief Science Officer for Astrogenetix.
Astrogenetix has worked closely with NASA in an effort to fully utilize the International Space Station, one of NASA’s primary priorities. The Company’s space-based research has been designated as National Lab Pathfinder Missions by NASA to demonstrate the use of the International Space Station as a research platform for commercial research and development.
“By utilizing the unique environment of microgravity, we believe we can shorten the time frame and reduce the cost of developing medicines,” said Thomas B. Pickens III, Astrogenetix’s Chairman of the Board. “The International Space Station National Lab provides an incredible platform to conduct breakthrough research.”
About Astrogenetix, Incorporated
A subsidiary of Astrotech Corporation (Nasdaq: ASTC), Astrogenetix is a biotechnology company formed to commercialize biotechnology products processed in the unique environment of microgravity. The Company offers a turn-key platform for pre-flight sample preparation, flight hardware, mission planning and operations, crew training and certification processes needed within the highly regulated and complex environment of manned space flight.
The statements in this document may contain forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, trends, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from the forward-looking statement. These factors include, but are not limited to, continued government support and funding for key space programs, product performance and market acceptance of products and services, as well as other risk factors and business considerations described in the company's Securities & Exchange Commission filings including the annual report on Form 10-K. Any forward-looking statements in this document should be evaluated in light of these important risk factors. The Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.