Microgravity biologics crystallization processes on board the International Space Station

Microgravity biologics crystallization processes on board the International Space Station

Paul Reichert, MS (Merck)


Crystallization processes have been widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for the manufacture, storage and delivery of small molecule and small protein therapeutics.  The identification of crystallization processes for biologics and particularly monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been prohibitive because of their size and the complexity of their overall structure. There remains a challenge and an opportunity to extend the knowledge of crystallization processes known for small molecules and investigate the use of microgravity as a research tool to identify the key variables for mAb crystal growth. The International Space Station National Laboratory (ISS NL) offers a unique opportunity to perform bio-medical research and investigate pharmaceutical processes. Merck Research Laboratories in collaboration with the ISS-NL organization performed crystallization experiments with KeytrudaTM (pembrolizumab) on SpaceX Cargo Resupply Mission 10 to the ISS (SpaceX-CRS-10).) Crystalline suspensions of pembrolizumab   were successfully grown on SpaceX-10 and processing improvements were applied to earth processes.

Date and Location

Thurs Oct 17th, 2019

Registration & social hour: 5:30 PM
Dinner & presentation: 6:30 PM

Meeting Sponsors


Hanover Marriott

1401 Rt 10 E, Whippany, NJ 07981

About the speaker

Paul Reichert is an Associate Principal Scientist in the Structural Sciences Department at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL). He has been conducting pharmaceutical research for 35 years working at MRL on the discovery and development of small molecule and macromolecular therapeutics. His expertise is primarily in the area of crystallization of proteins and biologics to better patient treatment options for efficacy, safety, adherence and compliance.  

Currently, besides his work at MRL, Paul is a Principal Investigator (PI) designing experiments for crystallization of  monoclonal antibodies on spaceX missions to the International Space Station (ISS).

Registration Fees

  • Registered and paid online:     $50.00
  • Walk-in:     $65.00
  • Between-positions, Retirees & Students (WITH ADVANCE REGISTRATION ONLY):     $45.00

Advance registration will end at 5:00 PM on WEDNESDAY OCT 16th;  after that, you must pay at the door.  Note also that if you choose the "Register and Pay at Meeting" option, you must proceed all the way to the "Your Order is Confirmed" screen or your registration will not be recorded.

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