FARMINGTON, CT, December 16, 2021 — LambdaVision, an innovative biotech company developing a treatment to help patients regain sight lost to retinal degenerative diseases, along with implementation partner Space Tango, will build on prior research on an upcoming mission to the International Space Station (ISS) via the SpaceX’s 24th commercial resupply service mission (CRS-24) contracted by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Liftoff of the Dragon spacecraft carrying the next iteration of LambdaVision research is slated for launch no earlier than Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 5:06 a.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Beyond the upcoming mission, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) has recently awarded LambdaVision two separate grants stemming from ISS National Lab Research Announcements (NLRAs) in the categories of advanced manufacturing and materials and tissue engineering and biomanufacturing. This funding will support the expansion of LambdaVision’s biomanufacturing research in low Earth orbit. Contractual agreement between CASIS and LambdaVision is pending based on finalization of legal terms and conditions.
Through the support of these NLRA awards, LambdaVision will expand the number of Space Tango research modules, called CubeLabsTM, used on the ISS, which increases throughput and will lead to an optimized layer-by-layer manufacturing prototype for implementing future production scale. Additionally, LambdaVision will rigorously test the stability of the light-activated protein, bacteriorhodopsin (BR), and the manufactured artificial retinas in microgravity conditions for extended periods. Ensuring quality, efficiency, and durability of the manufacturing methodology will potentially enhance stability and performance for future preclinical and clinical trials and eventual approval of the artificial retina. The company aims to achieve good manufacturing practice (GMP) production of the artificial retina within the next 2 years. LambdaVision’s microgravity-based investigations can uniquely enable technical solutions to known science and engineering challenges and create a pathway for new product development and business opportunities beyond the artificial retina.
“As each flight offers us further knowledge about the benefits of LEO and the properties of our materials, we are grateful for the opportunity to expand our microgravity efforts, both for us and for others that can benefit from the milestones achieved during our research and development,” said Jordan A. Greco, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at LambdaVision.
LambdaVision and Space Tango have previously received funds from NASA, including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Commercialization awards, which have led to the proof-of-concept and optimization of the layer-by-layer production approach.
About Space Tango
Space Tango is an industry leader in automated systems in the pursuit of health and technology manufacturing in space. Since 2017 through a NASA Space Act Agreement, Space Tango provides facilities to support iterative R&D and manufacturing in space. Through an integrated and intuitive approach, Space Tango works alongside their diverse partner-base to embrace pathways to on-orbit production yielding valuable and transformational solutions for humanity. Space Tango is headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky with offices in Texas, Florida, California, and Washington, D.C.
LambdaVision is developing a protein-based artificial retina to restore meaningful vision for the millions of patients blinded by retinal degenerative diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The patent-protected artificial retina technology developed by LambdaVision uses photoactive proteins to naturally mimic the light-absorbing properties of human photoreceptor cells and activate neuroreceptors still present in degenerated retinas of blind patients. Founded as part of the UConn Technology Incubator Program, LambdaVision along with its research partners, have secured over $9 million to date in state and federal funding. To learn more, visit lambdavision.com.