US company Vaxxinity and the University of Central Florida (UCF) have announced plans to work together to advance space medicine research.
The research, funded by a grant from the State of Florida, aims to develop Vaxxinity’s active immunotherapies to prevent and mitigate muscle and bone wasting. These are well known health challenges related to long-term spaceflight, and share biological mechanisms implicated in highly prevalent age-related diseases.
The research will include studies to assess the effects of Vaxxinity’s active immunotherapies on undisclosed proteins implicated with bone and muscle growth through in vitro and in vivo experiments, and animal models established by UCF.
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 programme, 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 ageing population on our planet and future space travellers.”
In a recent study, researchers in Japan revealed the key underlying mechanisms in muscle atrophy, one of the health risks associated with long-term spaceflight, paving the way towards potential new treatments.