A near-zero-gravity experiment to validate a new pharmacological strategy for neurodegenerative diseases of the brain
ZePrion is a proof-of-concept experiment that will attempt the difficult task of obtaining a co-crystal formed by a partially unfolded protein and a drug candidate. This has never been achieved on Earth. If successful, it will demonstrate that drugs can be virtually designed based on a computer algorithm that predicts how proteins fold, opening completely unexplored therapeutic avenues. The prion protein, involved in a neurodegenerative ailment affecting genetically many families in Israel and a model for neurodegenerative diseases affecting millions worldwide, has been selected as the litmus test.