08 January 2019
Please join us for a webinar on Tuesday the 15th of January 2019 at 12:00 London time i.e. 13:00 Brussels time, 14:00 Athens time. The speaker is Nicholas Vonortas, Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, USA.
The title of the talk is “An Economic Appraisal of Microgravity Protein Crystallization for Drug Development", and it is coauthored by Troy J. Scott, RTI International, USA.
The moderator will be Dr. Andreas Panagopoulos. The program we use to deliver webinars is called VSee and you can easily download it for free. A very short demo of VSee can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDb7-Mrz0L4.
This webinar is free and open to all. To participate and for further information, please contact Dr. Andreas Panagopoulos at least a day prior to the seminar.
Abstract: A basic mission of NASA is to use the United States’ segment of the International Space Station (ISS), designated a national laboratory, to facilitate the growth of a commercial marketplace in low Earth orbit for scientific research, technology development, observation and communications. Protein crystallization research has long been promoted as a promising commercial application of the ISS for drug development. In this paper we examine the case for microgravity protein crystallization under different private and public investment scenarios. The analysis suggests that sustaining investment is unlikely to come from individual companies alone. Public and private investment must be combined and managed to overcome a number of challenges including the need to integrate microgravity crystallization into the complex system of technologies involved in structure-based drug design. Multiple risks related to transportation costs / frequency, risk for cargo and research crew, and uncertainty about the longevity of the ISS complicate the calculus.