WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., March 22, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/Improved Pharma and Varda Space Industries have published the first mission results in ChemRxiv in an article entitled Return of the Ritonavir: A Study on the Stability of Pharmaceuticals Processed in Orbit and Returned to Earth. The team reports that the most stable form of ritonavir (Form II) was successfully converted to the metastable Form III in microgravity. In addition, control samples of Form I, Form II, Form III, and amorphous ritonavir that were also part of the payload were successfully recovered, with no signs of form conversion.

“We’re thrilled with these results” exclaimed Steve Byrn, Improved Pharma’s CSO. “Being able to conduct pharmaceutical experiments in microgravity is a game-changer and opens the door for exciting discoveries to be made”.

Varda is the first company to autonomously process pharmaceuticals in space and bring them back to Earth. These results from Mission 1 show that the spacecraft and crystallization hardware performed flawlessly. Analytical testing at Improved Pharma confirmed that the space crystallization experiments were a success, and that the physical stability of all samples was preserved.

For more information, please refer to these earlier updates:

Discovery of Form III of ritonavir: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.cgd.2c01017

Launch into space: https://improvedpharma.com/improved-pharma-varda-space-industries-conducting-pharmaceutical-experiments-space/

On-board video of reentry from separation to landing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw4DseiPu7E

Successful recovery of the capsule: https://arstechnica.com/space/2024/02/vardas-drug-cooking-winnebago-will-be-remembered-as-a-space-pioneer/

Feature story in Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2024/03/20/this-startup-is-one-step-closer-to-making-drugs-in-space/?sh=6a35b6516b8e