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Varda Space Is Developing Drugs In Orbit

April 8, 2024
x min read

The next big disruption to drug development might be space.

What’s happening:

  • Space manufacturing company Varda Space has raised $90M USD in a new Series B financing round
  • The round was led by Caffeinated Capital and included participation from notable venture capital funds such as Lux Capital, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures and others

The big idea:

  • Varda Space has purpose built a satellite and reentry vehicle that can bring materials back safely from space
  • This unlocks the ability to process materials in microgravity, which has significant benefits for accelerating biotechnology and pharmaceutical breakthroughs largely due to the lack of convection and sedimentation in microgravity
  • The environment of microgravity can also lead to multiple potential benefits for drugs, including superior bioavailability, enhanced physicochemical properties and new routes of administration

How it works:

  • Varda’s capsules are launched into orbit with commercial rocket partners
  • Once Varda’s capsules are successfully in orbit, their pharmaceutical processing equipment begins operating in a microgravity environment
  • When the pharmaceutical processing operations have concluded, Varda’s capsule then separates from the satellite in orbit
  • Varda’s capsule then descends from space back to Earth, using a parachute to safely land and return the processed materials for further analysis or development

By the numbers:

  • Varda Space has raised $145M USD in venture capital funding since inception

Going deeper:

  • While the near weightless state of microgravity had previously been identified as being an advantageous environment for chemical processing, Varda’s technology has unlocked the ability to safely return those materials back to Earth without damage

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