Vaxxinity, University of Central Florida launch collaboration to advance medicines for use in space

Vaxxinity, an immunotherapeutic vaccine developer, is boldly going into partnership with the University of Central Florida to advance space medicine research.

The effort, which is being funded by a grant from the State of Florida, will focus on developing Vaxxinity’s immunotherapies to prevent and mitigate muscle and bone wasting, which are health challenges related to long-term spaceflight, the company said in a Jan. 18 release.

The research will include studies of the company’s active immunotherapies on undisclosed proteins implicated with bone and muscle growth through in vitro and in vivo experiments, as well as animal models established by the university. As part of the collaboration, Vaxxinity will provide materials including drug candidates derived from its platform to support the collaborative research.

“If humanity is to become a spacefaring species, solving fundamental problems related to space travel and living are table-stakes,” Lou Reese, executive chairman of Vaxxinity, said in the release. “Vaxxinity is all-in on developing and commercializing these solutions, and working with the State of Florida and UCF, collectively, we strive to promote both healthy aging and ensure humanity can become multi-planetary, brave low gravity exposure, and be of the stars.”

Vaxxinity, which is based in Cape Canaveral in Florida, raised $78 million in its 2021 IPO just months after coming together in a deal between COVAXX and United Neuroscience. At the time the company launched it touted its synthetic peptide vaccine platform as having the potential to enable a new class of medicines.