Amgen On Final Space Shuttle Mission

Thousand oaks-based biotech giant Amgen said Tuesday that the firm is taking part in a preclinical test on the final, NASA Space Shuttle mission scheduled to launch Friday. According to Amgen, it is in a collaboration with UCB and NASA Ames Research Center, to conduct a test of a sclerostin antibody, aimed at assessing its effect on the loss of bone associated with space flight. Bone loss is a big issue for long term spaceflight. Amgen's compound inhibits a protein which results in the loss of bone in the case of "skeletal disuse", which includes such conditions as stroke, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, in addition to space flight.