NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe and Biotechnology Industry Organization
(BIO) President Carl B. Feldbaum today signed a memorandum of understanding
to expand cooperation between NASA and the biotechnology industry.

“NASA currently supports cutting-edge basic and commercial biotechnology
research and development,” said Administrator O’Keefe. “We recognize the
importance of biotechnology as an expanding industry with increasing
significance for health care, agriculture, our economy and space exploration.
This partnership helps NASA further the commercial use of space.”

Citing NASA’s participation at BIO conferences and meetings, Feldbaum said,
“This agreement underscores the existing convergence of space technology and
biotechnology. We’ve already seen biotech research underway in space. This
agreement will promote investment by the biotechnology industry in commercial
space development for the benefit of patients, consumers and our economy.”

The memorandum builds on an already strong partnership by establishing three
goals of collaboration: enhanced communication between NASA and industry;
expanded commercial biotechnology space research and development; and formal
and informal education of industry and the public regarding biotechnology and
space research.

Biotechnology research already plays an important role in space. The upcoming
launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station (ISS)
will transport a biotechnology company’s experiment to the station that will
compare human liver-cell function in space with that on Earth. This research
could aid in the development of treatments for people in need of liver

NASA will utilize space as a laboratory to test the fundamental principles of
chemistry and biology, and BIO will provide the industry support needed to
maximize both the research and potential commercial opportunities.

BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic
institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50
U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research
and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental
biotechnology products.

Additional information on NASA commercialization activities and BIO can be
found at: