The “first of its kind” space project related to COVID-19 drug discovery research was hosted through the ICE Cubes Service on-board the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Kirara protein crystallisation service.
The study targeted to combine advantages of microgravity with advanced drug research to improve understanding of the complex formulation processes.
As such it is also a key initiative for the pharmaceutical industry to widen their development opportunities via space research.
During this mission, Hungarian companies InnoStudio Inc. and CycloLab Cyclodextrin R&D Laboratory Ltd. incubated the remdesivir-based medicament Veklury® for treatment of COVID-19 using the protein crystallisation service “Kirara” provided by the Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS).
Fast access to space through commercial services, such as ICE Cubes, allows for short-term turn-around on medicaments or samples to be investigated. Research in space hence becomes relevant even in a situation such as a pandemic.
For more information about Kirara and the COVID related research in space, access the links below.