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Belgian UCB to conduct tests on bone loss onboard space shuttle Atlantis.

(SeeNews) - Jul 6, 2011 - Belgian biopharmaceutical company UCB SA (EBR:UCB) and its US business partner Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) signed an agreement with the Ames Research Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to conduct preclinical tests on bone loss during the final mission of space shuttle Atlantis.

The experiment will assess the effect of a sclerostin antibody on the loss of bone during space flights, the Belgian company said on Wednesday. According to UCB, the loss of bone mass during space flight remains a significant problem for human space missions, especially long-term flights. The sclerostin antibody is designed to inhibit the action of "sclerostin," a protein that is a key negative regulator of bone formation, bone mass and bone strength.

In the planned experiment with 30 mice, half of the mice will be given the sclerostin antibody, while the remaining mice will receive a placebo. After the flight, various aspects of the structure, composition, strength and cell and molecular nature of the bones from the flight and ground-based control mice will be analysed, UCB said.

The final NASA shuttle mission is scheduled to launch on July 8.
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Publication:ADP News Belgium
Date:Jul 6, 2011
Words:190
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