Utrecht, November 30, 2023

HUB Organoids B.V. participates in the second Tumors in Space European Space Agency parabolic flight which investigates the effect of microgravity on gene expression to identify potential targets for drug discovery and precision medicine.

The Tumors in Space program represents some of the most advanced cancer research ever conducted under microgravity conditions and marks the first instance of employing patient-derived organoids from either resected or biopsied solid tumors from colon cancer patients for these studies.“All previous cancer experiments in microgravity have used 2-dimensional cell lines or spheroids, whereas Tumors in Space uses 3-dimensional organoids (3D) made up of 3D self-organized cell clusters biopsied from actual tumors and actual cancer patients”, commented Dr. Tricia L. Larose, Principal Investigator for the Tumors in Space program. “The choice of these models provides unparalleled physiological relevance to patients´ tumors, resulting in extremely valuable information that has the potential to transform patient treatment” concluded Larose.

Live cancer patient-derived organoid models being transported to the Novespace experimental site ensuring organoid integrity during transit.


This second Tumors in Space mission leverages the European Space Agency’s 83rd parabolic flight campaign in collaboration with Novespace, to validate prior ESA parabolic flight data and assess the impact of supply chain, environmental, and operational factors on the fidelity of cancer patient-derived organoid models in microgravity in preparation for spaceflight.

Live cancer patient-derived organoid models were transported to the Novespace experimental site ensuring organoid integrity during transit. During this transport and the subsequent parabolic flights, the Cellbox ShipperTM Flight incubator was used to maintain tumor organoids in live cultures, providing a tightly controlled CO2 atmosphere, temperature control, and protection from environmental factors such as vibration and light.

Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Sylvia Boj and Chief Business Officer, Dr. Bahar Ramezanpour as they embark on the parabolic flight with live patient-derived cancer organoids

“We spent a considerable amount of time meticulously optimizing the conditions that will keep our organoids stable in culture and worked tirelessly on designing all the logistics and procedures that will ensure the success of this second mission.” Commented Dr Sylvia Boj, Chief Scientific Officer at HUB Organoids, who was on the flight. Post the final parabolic flight, both experimental and ground control organoids will be processed at the Genomics Core Facility of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology for RNA sequencing.

“Our proprietary organoid technology is uniquely positioned to offer patient-relevant data that can directly impact future clinical applications” said Dr Bahar Ramezanpour, Chief Business Officer at HUB who also participated in this second mission. “This exciting opportunity is a testament to our commitment to innovating and breaking barriers for the development of revolutionary therapeutic testing solutions.” Ramezanpour concluded.

Gene expression data from experimental and ground control organoids will be analyzed and compared to unlock invaluable insights into the impact of microgravity on cancer organoids.


About Tumors in Space

The Tumors in Space initiative has been selected to participate in the BSGN Life Sciences Industry Accelerator, partnering with Space Application Services and the ICE Cubes host facility on the International Space Station. Funding for Tumors in Space is provided under the ESA PRODEX program, with support from the Norwegian Space Agency. Patient-derived organoids and scientific expertise are provided by HUB Organoids B.V. who hold global IP rights to adult stem cell-derived organoid technology.

About HUB Organoids

HUB Organoids (HUB) is the global leader in the field of adult stem cell-derived organoids. HUB Organoid Technology represents a paradigm shift for drug discovery and development, preclinical patient stratification, predictive diagnostics, personalized medicine, clinical trials, regenerative medicine, and companion diagnostics. HUB offers licenses to its proprietary technology and provides drug discovery and development services using its living organoid biobanks.

For further information, please contact:

Federica Parisi, Director of Marketing