Axiom Space Partners with UC San Diego to Launch Stem Cell Research for Regenerative Medicine to Space

Axiom Space Partners with UC San Diego to Launch Stem Cell Research for Regenerative Medicine to Space

Axiom Space
Photo: Axiom Space

Commercial space leader Axiom Space has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of California San Diego to promote collaborative efforts to send stem cell research for regenerative medicine to space.

In conjunction with an historic $150 million gift to UC San Diego from T. Denny Sanford to establish the UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Institute, this agreement will support expansion of existing stem cell translational medicine initiatives in microgravity and development of future core facilities supporting stem cell translational medicine on Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station.

The MOU supports Axiom Space’s endeavors to establish a core user facility on Axiom Station, called the Integrated Stem Cell Orbital Research (ISSCOR) Laboratory, in partnership with UC San Diego. The ISSCOR program, initiated under a NASA Commercialization Award in 2020, is designed to replicate the highly successful Sanford Consortium of Regenerative Medicine terrestrial collaborative, a multi-disciplinary approach to accelerate the pace of breakthroughs in stem cell translational medicine.

“We are thrilled to partner with the globally recognized University of California team of stem cell researchers to help facilitate breakthrough discoveries aimed at diagnosis, treatments, and future cures for cancer and other age-related degenerative diseases,” said Christian Maender, Axiom’s Executive Vice President for In-Space Solutions.

“T. Denny Sanford’s visionary gift will further advance UC San Diego’s leadership in stem cell medicine. It also highlights the power of partnerships between industry, universities and philanthropists to leverage the unique benefits of microgravity in low-Earth orbit that advance innovative research and development for patients in need. Axiom is excited to continue our work together and to collaborate with the partners in this expanding ecosystem of stem cell translational medicine that will enable new discoveries and therapies benefiting all of humanity.”

The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine houses the basic and translational research laboratories of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health – part of the newly established institute – with the mission to advance stem cell research through collaborative, multi-disciplinary interactions. This partnership allows scientists from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford Burnham Prebys, Scripps Research and UC San Diego to work side by side in a facility specifically designed to achieve breakthrough discoveries in stem cell translational medicine.

Through this MOU, Axiom will supply spaceflight services to UC San Diego via access to Axiom’s private astronaut missions and to the company’s future world-class platform to perform microgravity research and manufacturing for UC San Diego faculty, students and external partners. This agreement supports proof-of-concept work on the International Space Station (ISS) demonstrating technologies and initial state-of-the-art capabilities that, once validated on ISS, would transition to the first Axiom module docked to the ISS in 2024.

In addition to signing an MOU with the University of California, Axiom has signed agreements with Aotearoa New Zealand, the Italian government, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates. These historic agreements signify the company’s commitment to provide companies, academic institutions and communities across the globe access to microgravity to advance scientific research, innovative technologies, on-orbit manufacturing and space exploration.

Press release

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