The Sky’s the Limit for Biopharma R&D
If you’re fascinated in the prospect of launching your R&D efforts beyond the bounds of Earth, then the Centre for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) may be the one giant leap you need to make it happen.
Indeed, the final frontier of biopharma R&D is here as life sciences can now be taken to the cosmos. CASIS, the enterprise behind the concept, has the objective of encouraging companies and innovators to take their research to outer space. Apart from appealing to the budding Luke Skywalker’s among us, one may question why a biopharma company would go to the effort of sending their research all the way to the International Space Station (ISS)?
Certainly, sending research on a mission to outer space is no humble task; however, the fact is that space research offers astronomical benefits for biopharma and life science firms. When it comes to actual drug innovation in space, biopharma companies can use the freefall atmosphere as a facilitator for an accelerated model of disease onset and progression. In specific, one of the chief elements that make investment most valuable for pharma and the life sciences is the capability to experience the microgravity environment. Weightlessness offers an accelerated foundation to observe changes to muscle mass and bone density, as well as the effect of drug candidates on their targets.
Hence, this can be extremely helpful when measuring bone loss and muscle atrophy in research. Dr Mike Roberts, the senior research scientist as CASIS, notes, “we’ve learned that some of those effects of that microgravity environment mimic diseases that affect us here on Earth … That loss of bone mineral density is similar to what we see as we age on Earth, the outcome of osteoporosis, our bones becoming more brittle … It’s an actual opportunity to use that environment as an accelerated model of osteoporosis.” The same is true for muscular atrophy.
However, smaller companies may be disheartened by the hefty price tag of sending research to ‘infinity and beyond’. In relation to this, CASIS stresses that the service is not limited to the wealthiest entities in life sciences, rather CASIS is determined to help get deserving projects to space. Therefore, smaller companies who have relevant R&D that would benefit from the interstellar environment may be internally funded by CASIS.
Aside from internal funding by CASIS, companies engaging in this type of research may be eligible for the government research and development (R&D) tax credits. However, it is important to note that whether you are conducting research in outer space or keeping your feet grounded on earth, scientific research and development are critical ingredients for nurturing biopharma companies. If you’ve been involved in research and development within the biopharma industry, or any other industry, contact us today to find out if you’re eligible for tax savings.