Angiex To Perform Research on International Space Station With Funding from CASIS, Boeing, and MassChallenge
CAMBRIDGE, MA. (November 7, 2016) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and Boeing awarded Angiex Inc., and two other MassChallenge™ biotechnology research companies, financial support last week through for the purpose of performing research aboard the International Space Station. CASIS is the nonprofit organization responsible for managing and promoting research onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. Boeing is the ISS prime contractor responsible for sustaining operations, including the successful integration of vehicle and payload hardware and software for the orbiting laboratory. MassChallenge is an accelerator program that offers world-class mentorship, free office space, a network of corporate and nonprofit organizations, and access to in-kind support and resources in order to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs across all industries without taking any equity.
Angiex Inc. is a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that provides biopharmaceutical research and development services and is developing a proprietary antibody-drug conjugate therapy for cancer.
The financial support for this collaboration will fund hardware, personnel, and other research costs of Angiex Inc., as well as costs incurred by Angiex’s implementation partner, BioServe Space Technologies. BioServe will provide the experimental hardware to be used by Angiex aboard the International Space Station. The project to be performed by Angiex is titled “Endothelial Cells in Microgravity as a Model System for Evaluation of Cancer Therapy Toxicity.” Angiex summarized the work as follows:
Angiex has created a novel cancer therapy that targets a protein involved in the proliferation of the cells called endothelial cells (ECs) that line the walls of blood vessels. This new therapy has been found to be effective in mouse models. Angiex’s major challenge, shared by all developers of vascular-targeted drugs, is the lack of an in vitro model of resting normal endothelium (the layer of cells that line the walls of blood vessels) to test drug toxicity.ECs cultured in microgravity appear to share many features of the in vivo resting endothelium, including a persistent state of reduced cell growth. Angiex will evaluate the hypothesis that microgravity-cultured ECs represent a valid model system to test the effects of vascular-targeted drugs on normal blood vessels.If the hypothesis is validated, microgravity-cultured ECs will be established as an important model system for evaluating the action of any vascular-targeted drug.
“Angiex is excited to have the opportunity to study endothelial cell behavior in microgravity conditions on the International Space Station,” said Angiex CEO Paul Jaminet. “If the hypothesis we are to test is correct, microgravity conditions may provide a desirable testbed for development and testing of vascular-targeted pharmaceutical drugs. As cardiovascular disease and cancer, the two leading killers, are both addressable by vascular-targeted drugs, this work could have exciting implications for biopharmaceutical research generally. We are grateful that CASIS, Boeing, and BioServe are collaborating with Angiex to make these experiments possible, and thank CASIS, Boeing, and MassChallenge for funding this exciting project.”
# # #
About MassChallenge: To learn about the MassChallenge Accelerator program, visit: http://masschallenge.org/accelerator.
About CASIS: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. For more information, visit www.iss-casis.org.
About the ISS National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation’s newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low Earth orbit, and varied environments of space.
For more information on Boeing Defense, Space & Security, visit www.boeing.com/space/ or follow on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.
About Angiex: Angiex Inc. is a biotechnology and biopharmaceutical research and development services company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information visit www.angiex.com.