Sachi Bioworks wins NASA Phase I SBIR award to advance drug-discovery on the ISS

May 26, 2022

Rapid, Low-Cost Drug-Discovery in Space

In space exploration missions or space tourism outside the earth’s protective magnetic shield, prolonged exposure to microgravity and ionizing space-radiation causes adverse health effects, including accelerated aging, neurodegeneration, and potentially increased incidences of cancer. This necessitates development of precision and personalized countermeasures shown to be highly effective for each individual based on their genetic profile, so space travel can be made safer for astronauts and space-tourists. While the nominally “harsh” space-environment poses these challenges, it also presents unique opportunities due to its atmosphere, microgravity, and exposure to intense galactic cosmic rays (GCR), for development and screening of therapeutic modalities for terrestrial applications.

Sachi's space-based therapeutic screening can potentially accelerate drug-development for diseases such as neurodegeneration, cardiovascular, and cancer, by leveraging the accelerated disease progression due to microgravity and radiation.

In this Phase I NASA SBIR award, Sachi will take advantage of its proprietary NanoligomersTM technology to develop a drug-screening pipeline in model of accelerated aging using human brain organoids eventually to be manufactured in space. Using their NanoligomerTM technology and high-throughput therapeutic development and translation pipeline, Sachi will target specific genes and disease pathways to develop a robust drug-screening platform for in space commercial applications. Sachi’s safe, targeted, and reversible gene expression manipulation technology utilizes human body’s own ability to create protective enzymes to counter (prophylactically) and repair (therapeutically) the damage caused by aging, neurodegeneration, or cancer. Therefore, our demonstration will allow validation and testing of pipeline, and realizing potential for therapeutic discovery in commercial space-stations, both for rapid development and in-space manufacturing of space countermeasures for astronauts, as well as space-based commercial drug-development for terrestrial applications.
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