Humanetics Corporation Presents Data on Drug to Protect Cardiac Cells Against Toxicity from Space-like Radiation

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration awarded the grant to evaluate Humanetics Corporation's investigational new drug, BIO 300

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Humanetics Corporation (Humanetics) has recently completed two research studies funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), which evaluated the potential of Humanetics’ investigational drug, BIO 300, to mitigate the toxicities from space-like radiation exposure.

The research tested BIO 300’s ability to protect both animal and human cells from space-like radiation exposure (e.g. protons and mixed-fields). One focus of these projects: evaluating BIO 300’s ability to protect the cardiovascular system. This is of special interest to NASA due to concern for radiation-induced cardiovascular disease.  Protection against space radiation is required for long-duration missions in space, including a manned-trip to Mars.

StemoniX partnered with Humanetics for the research. StemoniX is a Minnesota company with a microHeart® Assay Ready platform containing functional human heart tissue derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These heart cells are organized in screening plates simulating tissue architecture and “beat” rhythmically in culture, reproducing human cardiovascular biology. BIO 300 protected the microHeart® cells from various doses of the mixed-field radiation, enhancing their survival following mission-relevant doses of radiation. Cardiac radioprotection was also demonstrated in a separate study using proton radiation.

The data were recently presented at the NASA Human Research Program conference in Galveston, Texas by Dr. Michael Kaytor, Vice President of Research and Development at Humanetics. “The response from NASA has been positive and encouraging” said Dr. Kaytor. “Our ultimate goal is to make BIO 300 available for astronauts, enabling exploration deeper into the solar system.”

BIO 300 is also being developed for other uses, including in cancer radiation treatment to protect normal tissues from harm and for military use to protect warfighters in areas of nuclear or radiological concern. BIO 300 is currently being evaluated in a multi-site clinical trial involving patients receiving radiation and chemotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer.