NASA has taken its first step towards opening its research and technology for public use through its Technology Transfer Program as the agency has signed two patent license agreements with Houston-based GRoK Technologies LLC to help develop innovative biotechnology approaches that could have numerous applications in space and on Earth.
According to the news release on the PR Newswire, the agreements grant rights for four patented technologies developed by NASA and GRoK scientists, with NASA showing great interest in the bone and muscle regenerative potentials of these technologies that could be used during space missions for treating osteopenia in astronauts.
“Biotechnology research taking place on the International Space Station and at NASA centers around the country continues to push the leading edge of science,” said Yolanda Marshall, director of the Strategic Opportunities and Partnership Development Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“This partnership will further enhance NASA’s ability to share the unique breakthroughs made in space-based research.”
GRoK, on the other hand, will be able to use the patented methods on two platform technologies the company is working on.
The first platform is called BioReplicates and it is intended to allow users to create 3D human tissue models for testing cosmetics, drugs and various other products for safety, efficiency and toxicity with greater accuracy and reliability, while significantly reducing the industry’s reliance on animal testing.
The second platform, called Scionic, may lead to developing medical devices which would eliminate musculoskeletal pain and inflammation in humans and animals without the use of any kind of invasive procedures and pharmaceuticals.
“The GRoK team is delighted we are now a NASA licensee with the opportunity to bring forward into the commercial sector technologies that have the capacity to improve the lives of people everywhere,” said Moshe Kushman, GRoK’s founder and CEO.
“It’s not just science fiction anymore. All indications are that 21st century life sciences will change dramatically during the next several decades, and GRoK is working to define the forefront of a new scientific wave.”