Aphios Corporation today announced that its Bioscience experiment to develop a precision manufacture process for targeted picoparticles (one thousandth of a nanoparticle) delivery systems is scheduled for launch on NG-11 heading for the microgravity environment of the International Space Station (ISS) on April 17, 2019.
ISS is the only interplanetary facility in which picoencapsulation technologies like those anticipated for microgravity picoparticles can be achieved in sufficient yields to allow testing of these relatively ‘exotic’ Alzheimer’s Disease therapeutics. The role of the ISS in this project is to allow a stable manufacturing platform to create, capture and test these picoparticles.
Microgravity enhanced picoparticles will be used to establish new methodologies for treating a variety of ‘orphan’ and chronic diseases like cancer, HIV and Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s Disease is the third leading cause of death in the US, affecting >5.7 million Americans and >44 million people worldwide. According to Dr. Trevor P. Castor, President and CEO, Aphios Corporation: “The discovery of novel delivery technologies and agents that affect disease progression will transform the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease beyond current therapies that focus solely on the symptoms. The picoparticles created in microgravity will be smaller and more uniform with a higher surface area to volume ratio, approaching ‘picometer dimensions,’ and thus perform more effectively. This vastly increases surface area for uptake and delivery and allows targeted delivery to the brain and hippocampus reducing the required dose per treatment and any systemic toxicities while increasing production value by decreasing cost per dose. The production of picoparticles in microgravity environment will establish novel manufacturing techniques for enhanced drug delivery systems. The novel targeted picoparticles produced during this experiment have the potential to improve the delivery of drugs that can arrest progression of or cure Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Aphios is collaborating with the Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) which manages the ISS laboratory for NASA, Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems, Inc. (STaARS) and Louisiana State University Health Science Center on this mission to the ISS.
About Aphios Corporation: Based in Woburn, MA, Aphios Corporation is a clinical-stage, emerging growth biotechnology company developing green enabling technology platforms for improving drug discovery and manufacturing, nanotechnology drug delivery and pathogenic drug safety (www.aphios.com).
About LSU Health Sciences Center (“LSUHSC”): Based in Shreveport, LA, LSUHSC is home to the Schools of Medicine, Graduate Studies and Allied Health Professions (800 students and 600 residents) with a primary mission to teach, heal, and discover, in order to advance the well-being of the region and beyond (www.lsuhscshreveport.edu).
About Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems, Inc. (“STaARS”): Based in Houston, TX, STaARS is establishing advanced biotechnology, biomedical and life science research programs on the International Space Station to improve the quality of life of Earth. STaARS leads the microgravity R&D market through customer service, science and operational expertise and hardware innovation (www.staars.space).
About the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc., (“CASIS”): Based in Melbourne, FL, CASIS’ mission is the advancement of educational and scientific research in connection with the International Space Station National Laboratory (www.iss-casis.org).
About National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”): Based in Washington, DC, NASA is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA has taken giant leaps and left its mark in the heavens. Now its building the next chapter, returning to the Moon to stay, and preparing to go beyond. After 60 years, NASA is just getting started (www.nasa.gov).
About the International Space Station (“ISS”): Based in Space, ISS is a space station or a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, and the last pressurized module was fitted in 2011. The station is expected to operate until at least 2028. (www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/)