Redwire to Develop Space-Based Drug Development and Manufacturing Platform

 Eli Lilly and Company is first investigator using new platform  

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (July 28, 2022)Redwire Corporation (NYSE:RDW), a leader in space infrastructure for the next generation space economy, announced that it will be developing new in-space manufacturing technology to provide novel and flexible services to grow small-batch crystals of protein-based pharmaceuticals and other key pharmaceutically relevant molecules for research and production. The Pharmaceutical In-space Laboratory – Bio-crystal Optimization Xperiment (PIL-BOX) will provide commercial customers and researchers an innovative platform in microgravity that could improve the development of pharmaceuticals and other products. Eli Lilly and Company will be partnering with Redwire to conduct critical testing during the initial flight missions for PIL-BOX. Lilly’s investigations will focus on the development of treatments for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Leveraging optimized, space-grown crystals, like those developed through the PIL-BOX platform, could enable pharmaceutical companies and researchers to develop new therapies to improve human health and quality of life on Earth.  

“This is an exciting new capability that could unlock new drug development processes in space that could translate to improved pharmaceuticals and make a positive impact on human health,” said John Vellinger, Redwire’s Executive Vice President of In-Space Manufacturing and Operations. “We are harnessing decades worth of in-space manufacturing expertise to develop new space technologies that can intersect with the needs of terrestrial markets, like the pharmaceutical industry, to improve products and ultimately improve life on Earth.”

Understanding crystal growth and design can inform the entire drug development and design process as pharmaceutical companies look to deliver new, optimized treatments to help patients on Earth.  Previous spaceflight investigations indicate that growing crystals in space could yield a more uniform product with fewer imperfections, which can improve the drug discovery and development process.  

The PIL-BOX platform has exciting implications for advancing pharmaceutical research and development in space. The technology builds on Redwire’s extensive space crystallization flight heritage, which dates back to the space shuttle era through its Advanced Space Experiment Processor.  Recently, Redwire sold its first space-optimized product—a space-grown optical crystal—manufactured on its Industrial Crystallization Facility, which launched to the ISS in 2021. 

PIL-BOX is being developed in partnership with NASA, through its In Space Production Applications (InSPA) flight demonstrations program, which is focused on stimulating demand in low-Earth orbit.  


About Redwire  
Redwire Corporation (NYSE: RDW) is a leader in space infrastructure for the next generation space economy, with valuable IP for solar power generation and in-space 3D printing and manufacturing. With decades of flight heritage combined with the agile and innovative culture of a commercial space platform, Redwire is uniquely positioned to assist its customers in solving the complex challenges of future space missions. For more information, please visit   

Media Contact:   
Tere Riley 




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