Microgravity enables differentiated drug products

Processing in a microgravity environment dramatically alters buoyancy, natural convection, sedimentation, and phase separation—driving significant differences in transport-driven phenomena.

Why Microgravity?

A gravity-off switch for material processing

Processing materials in microgravity (µg), or the near-weightless conditions found in space, offers a unique environment not available through terrestrial processing. These benefits primarily stem from the lack of convection and sedimentation.

These effects are “locked” into the material, typically through material crystallization, before being brought back to Earth.

Flame in 1g environment versus in µg environment on the International Space Station

The impact of gravity

While gravitational forces do not directly impact thermodynamic properties of systems, they do significantly impact kinetic and hydrodynamic processes. Microgravity suppresses convection and sedimentation, resulting in more uniform supersaturation, as well as diffusion-driven transport. The resulting environment enables crystallization outcomes that lead to improvements in bioavailability, enhanced physicochemical properties, differentiated intellectual property, and new routes of administration — all realized by conducting research in microgravity.


Varda’s microgravity platform provides a unique path to formulating small molecules and biologics to improve shelf-life, bioavailability, and patient compliance.


Reduced convection and sedimentation allows for solid state tuning and can result in the formation of large and ordered crystals for high-resolution X-ray structural determination or small and uniform particles to improve drug delivery.

Intellectual property

The unique environment of microgravity allows for the generation of enabling product and process IP for new chemical entities (NCEs) as well as life cycle management of marketed drugs.


Varda's extensive terrestrial crystallization lab includes a pharmaceutical hypergravity facility designed to accelerate development programs, building gravity-dependencies directly into drug substance development right here on Earth.
Working with Varda

Gravity-enabled pharmaceutical development funnel

Hypergravity Testing

Use hypergravity to rapidly assess gravity’s impact to your therapeutic program

Varda has developed hypergravity screening methodologies that can, in a cost-effective way, measure the role of gravity in affecting drug product performance. Varda’s platform allows us to rapidly screen a broad set of potential drug candidates for space, inclusive of both small molecule and biologic modalities. Initial screening allows Varda to fly therapies that point toward the most promising microgravity candidates.

Using gravity sensitivity trends to open up new process windows

Varda’s hypergravity crystallization platform demonstrated the effect of gravity on nucleation and growth kinetics for a seeded cooling crystallization of L-histidine. The studies illustrate the ability to use gravity as a variable to influence particle size distributions of small molecule therapeutics.


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