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Astrogenetix Narrows in on MRSA Virulence Onboard Discovery
Date:4/6/2010

Astrogenetix, an Austin, Texas-based commercial biotech company continues its microgravity research of MRSA on board Space Shuttle Discovery. The Company is validating target genes for MRSA virulence by sending up several different strains of the bacteria, which were genetically altered to remove target genes that are believed to be associated with virulence of this organism.

(Vocus) April 6, 2010 -- Astronauts on board Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-131) activated an experiment this morning as part of the ninth scientific payload for Astrogenetix, an Austin, Texas-based commercial biotech company. Astrogenetix is conducting the International Space Station National Laboratory Pathfinder Vaccine (NLP-V) missions to take advantage of the unique conditions of microgravity to uncover changes in bacteria that can be targeted to create new vaccines and therapeutics.

“Through this series of experiments, we are demonstrating that the International Space Station can be utilized as a platform for novel drug discovery,” said John Porter, Chief Executive Officer of Astrogenetix. “We sincerely believe the use of microgravity will yield tremendous benefits for new discovery to save lives on Earth.”

Astrogenetix has identified target genes for MRSA (a form of Staph infection) virulence by growing the bacteria in the microgravity environment during previous NLP-V missions. The Company is further examining and validating these genes on STS-131, by sending up several different strains of the bacteria, which were genetically altered to remove target genes that are believed to be associated with virulence of this organism.

MRSA is a type of bacteria that is not responsive to commonly used antibiotics and typically causes skin infections, but can also cause other infections – including pneumonia. In the past decade, infection and mortality due to th
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Astrogenetix Narrows in on MRSA Virulence Onboard Discovery
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