VALIDATION OF SALMONELLA VACCINE TARGET TO THE SPACE STATION
Cape Canaveral, FL (May 30, 2008) -
A partnership between Space Florida and SPACEHAB’s new biotech subsidiary BioSpace Technologies Inc. is paving the way to develop multiple vaccine targets on the International Space Station (ISS).
“This new space age microgravity process is already revealing new opportunities in the development of life-saving biomedicines within Florida’s new biotech space corridor,” said Thomas Pickens, III, chairman and chief executive officer, SPACEHAB, Inc.
The business venture showcases Space Florida’s efforts to drive growth in the state’s aerospace economy by leveraging existing expertise among its most innovative biotech industries in coordination with the state’s space program.
“We’re establishing a space-based, biotech corridor that stretches from the International Space Station to the Space Life Sciences Lab at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center,” said Steve Kohler, president of Space Florida. “Validating a model for vaccine development on this mission opens the door to help people live healthier lives, build a new industry related to pharmaceutical development, and drive diversity in aerospace economic development,” Kohler
The vaccine development model that flew on STS-123 in March 2008 and will fly again aboard Shuttle Discovery on the STS-124 mission proves that scientists can continue to rely upon this successful mission model to develop icrogravity products on the ISS for years to come.
“We are very confident this second flight of salmonella targets will validate, for the first time, that using microgravity can significantly enhance our ability to develop life-saving vaccines,” said Jim Royston, president of SPACEHAB, Inc.
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 40,000 cases of Salmonellosis are reported in the United States each year. Salmonella infection is still the most common form of food poisoning in the U.S., and the loss of productivity from this syndrome is estimated in the billions of dollars annually. Worldwide, salmonella diarrhea remains one of the top three causes of infant mortality, and a vaccine has the potential to make dramatic improvements in
the third world. For more background visit http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/disease_listing/salmonellosis_gi.html.
SPACEHAB Inc. also announced today its creation of a new biotech subsidiary called BioSpace Technologies Inc. and named Dr. Jeanne Becker as chief science officer. Becker is a well-recognized scientist who has participated in many microgravity experiments.
Becker is Vice President and Associate Director of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). She holds faculty appointments in the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine Houston. Dr. Becker is a member, and current Chair, of the National Advisory Committee for the Women’s Health Research Coalition. She serves on numerous NASA committees and is a recipient of NASA Space Life Sciences
Directorate Professional Achievement Award.
“I am excited to be joining the BioSpace Technologies team,” said Becker. “We are using the microgravity environment as a tool to grow cells in space that provides enhanced conditions to identify valuable vaccine targets.”
BioSpace Technologies Inc. has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which is providing the science research team led by Principal Investigator Dr. Tim Hammond. The research team also includes the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Germany’s Max Planck Institute. BioSpace Technologies Inc. will retain all commercial rights to products developed
under this agreement.
About Space Florida:
Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the
global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida's
aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next
generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven
infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for
aerospace businesses to thrive - and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them
About SPACEHAB, Incorporated
SPACEHAB is a commercial leader and entrepreneurial force in the
space industry providing a full spectrum of products and services to both the government and
private sectors. The company offers space access and payload integration services,
production of valuable commercial products in space, spacecraft pre-launch processing
facilities and services, development and extension of space-based products to the consumer
market, and program and engineering support ranging from development and manufacturing of
flight hardware to large scale government project management. www.spacehab.com.
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