Redwire-Managed Investigation to Improve Pharmaceutical Drug Manufacturing Launching on SpaceX-27 to ISS

SpaceX’s 27th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is launching on March 14, 2023, with a Redwire-managed experiment onboard. Redwire has partnered with MakerHealth for the Ampli Space Pharmacy research project, which will use microgravity  to advance the company’s AmpliRx platform. AmpliRx is a plug and play  biochemical manufacturing platform that enables distributed, affordable, and scalable production of medications by utilizing the advantages of flow chemistry. It has the potential to transform the drug manufacturing and material discovery process, enabling anyone to launch a personal biofoundry.

The ISS National Laboratory selected MakerHealth’s Ampli Space Pharmacy as one of the winners of Boston’s “Technology in Space” MassChallenge, which provides seed money for companies to help with hardware costs for flights to the ISS.

Ampli Space Pharmacy

Using the microgravity environment of the ISS, the Ampli Space Pharmacy investigation will enable AmpliRx developers to better understand and optimize modular microreactor material properties and geometries. Without the influence of gravity, the investigator team can carefully study the fluid flow characteristics of the chemicals on its reaction cassettes with the project’s Ampli Reader which collects reaction information through a combination of electronic sensors and direct visual observation.  The investigator team hopes to use these findings to further advance the AmpliRx platform and accelerate biopharmaceutical development to other companies.

Ampli Space Pharmacy Reader
The Ampli Space Pharmacy Reader mounted inside NASA’s ground-equivalent to the Life Sciences Glovebox on the International Space Station. (Credit: Redwire)

Astronauts will conduct the experiment inside the Life Sciences Glovebox on-orbit while the Redwire team and Ampli scientists perform remote payload support, guiding the astronauts as they conduct the investigation and addressing any troubleshooting that might occur.  Once the investigation is complete, the materials will be returned to Earth for further study by the Maker Health team to continue developing their innovative AmpliRx platform.

Ampli Space Pharmacy Science Kits
The Ampli Space Pharmacy science kits, optimized for spaceflight by Redwire. (Credit: Redwire)

As an official implementation partner, Redwire facilitates the use of NASA facilities on the ISS to fully execute an investigation.  For the Ampli Space Pharmacy, Redwire was  for research planning, manifest data, flight certification, operations planning, and the development of space-optimized hardware. As a leader in microgravity research, Redwire has served as an implementation partner for hundreds of experiments through both ISS National Lab and NASA.

Far-Reaching Impacts on Human Health

The Ampli Space Pharmacy investigation is a critical step for the development of the AmpliRx Platform. After spinning the technology out MIT’s Little Devices Lab, AmpliRx has been proven in locations ranging from cutting edge Boston laboratories to the extreme environments of Chile and Sub-Saharan Africa. In it’s next phase of development, this mission will help augment MakerHealth’s understanding of how the AmpliRx system produces portable and ultra-low-cost, low-volume materials like pharmaceuticals, significantly impacting the accessibility of medications and how medications are manufactured. AmpliRx opens the door for the possibility for anyone, regardless of location, to generate medications on demand. From the extreme environment of deep space to developing countries on Earth without advanced infrastructure, the ability to manufacture medicine on demand could provide long-lasting benefits for humanity’s health and well-being.

Far-Reaching Impacts on Human Health

The Ampli Space Pharmacy investigation is a critical step for the development of the AmpliRx Platform. After spinning the technology out MIT’s Little Devices Lab, AmpliRx has been proven in locations ranging from cutting edge Boston laboratories to the extreme environments of Chile and Sub-Saharan Africa. In it’s next phase of development, this mission will help augment MakerHealth’s understanding of how the AmpliRx system produces portable and ultra-low-cost, low-volume materials like pharmaceuticals, significantly impacting the accessibility of medications and how medications are manufactured. AmpliRx opens the door for the possibility for anyone, regardless of location, to generate medications on demand. From the extreme environment of deep space to developing countries on Earth without advanced infrastructure, the ability to manufacture medicine on demand could provide long-lasting benefits for humanity’s health and well-being.

Learn more about other Redwire-managed experiments and Redwire’s own investigations and facilities that recently launched on NG-18 here. Later this month, Redwire’s 3D BioFabrication Facility will biomanufacture meniscus tissue on the ISS.

Follow us on social media for updates on this exciting print, the Ampli Space Pharmacy, and other Redwire research happening on the orbiting laboratory.

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