Two scientists at the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) in Germany have won the International Space Station (ISS) Research Competition with a project that aims to send components of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) into space, reports.

The study is called “Egypt Against the Hepatitis C Virus” and involves crystallizing two hep C proteins to study them under microgravity conditions. The project was thought up by Hanaa Gaber, a doctoral student at the TUM Institute of Virology, and by Akram Amin Abdellatif, a graduate student at the university’s space, science and technology program.

The two researchers chose the approach because studies with other proteins have shown that crystals produced in space are far superior to the ones grown on earth. Because of this, the scientists think they might have better luck decoding the complex molecular structure of HCV on the ISS, which could help lead them to a cure.

This will be the first experiment involving Egyptian scientists to ever be conducted on the ISS. The African country has the highest hep C prevalence in the world, with an estimated 15 percent of Egyptians ages 15 to 59 living with the virus.