What You Should Know:
– Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies have expanded their partnership to map the human immune response to COVID-19 and advance our understanding of the disease.
– Data from this study will be made available through an open-access portal to help researchers, public health organizations and industry improve diagnostics, help triage patients based on the immune response to the disease, and inform vaccine discovery for COVID-19.
– Other industry leaders including LabCorp, through its Covance drug development business, Illumina, and Providence join forces to accelerate this critical effort
Adaptive Biotechnologies Corp. and Microsoft Corp. announced they will leverage their existing partnership mapping population-wide adaptive immune responses to diseases at scale to study COVID-19. Finding the relevant immune response signature may advance solutions to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease, augmenting existing research efforts that primarily focus on the biology of the virus. These data will be made freely available to any researcher, public health official or organization around the world via an open data access portal.
COVID-19 Immune Response Data Approach
To generate immune response data, Adaptive will open enrollment in April to collect de-identified blood samples, using a LabCorp-enabled mobile phlebotomy service, from individuals diagnosed with or recovered from COVID-19 in a virtual clinical trial managed by Covance. Immune cell receptors from these blood samples will be sequenced using Illumina platform technology and mapped to SARS-CoV-2-specific antigens that will have been confirmed by Adaptive’s proprietary immune medicine platform to induce an immune response.
The immune response signature found from the initial discovery work and the initial set of samples will be uploaded to the open data access portal. Leveraging Microsoft’s hyperscale machine learning capabilities and the Azure cloud platform, the accuracy of the immune response signature will be continuously improved and updated online in real time as more trial samples are sequenced from the study.
Providence to Serve as Clinical Collaborator
To expedite the development and relevance of the immune response signature across the global population, the companies are seeking additional participation from institutions and research groups around the world to contribute blood samples to this open data initiative. Providence, a large health system with 51 hospitals, including the one near Seattle that treated the first U.S. COVID-19 patient, is an initial clinical collaborator.
“The solution to COVID-19 is not likely going to come from one person, one company or one country. This is a global issue, and it will be a global effort to solve it,” said Peter Lee, corporate vice president, AI and Research, Microsoft. “Making critical information about the immune response accessible to the broader research community will help advance ongoing and new efforts to solve this global public health crisis, and we can accomplish this goal through our proven TCR-Antigen mapping partnership with Adaptive.”
Timing & Enrollment
Timing and enrollment details about the upcoming study and the open data access portal will be coming soon. Institutions or collaborators interested in contributing blood samples can direct inquiries to COVID19ImmuneResponse@adaptivebiotech.com.