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Amgen/UCB space shuttle test

Amgen and UCB are partnering with NASA to conduct a preclinical test researching the effects of a sclerostin antibody on bone loss during the final mission of space shuttle Atlantis

Amgen and UCB are partnering with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to conduct a preclinical test researching the effects of a sclerostin antibody on bone loss during the final mission of space shuttle Atlantis.

The experiment will see 30 mice travel aboard Space Shuttle Flight STS-135, scheduled to launch July 8, 2011, with half of the mice given the antibody AMG 785/CDP7851 and the remaining mice receiving a placebo.

Researchers will analyse the structure, composition, strength, and cell and molecular nature of the mice's bones from the flight to study the efficacy of the sclerostin antibody in regulating bone mass and strength.

According to Amgen, the loss of bone mass in space flight is a 'significant problem' for human space missions, especially long-term flights.

"This proof of principle study will enhance our understanding of the science behind the sclerostin antibody and arm us with important research to support potential future therapeutic applications in both astronauts and patients suffering from bone loss," said Dr Chris Paszty, scientific executive director at Amgen.

AMG 785/CDP7851 is also currently in phase II clinical trials for bone-related conditions, including postmenopausal osteoporosis and fracture healing, as a collaboration between Amgen and UCB.

6th July 2011

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