USA – Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies expand partnership to decode COVID-19 immune response and provide open data access

Differentiated approach may improve detection methods 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. (Nasdaq: ADPT) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) on Friday 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.

« We can improve our collective understanding of COVID-19 by decoding the immune system’s response to the virus and the disease patterns that can be inferred from studying these data at the population level, » said Chad Robins, CEO and co-founder of Adaptive Biotechnologies. « Immune response data may enable detection of the virus in infected people not showing symptoms and improve triaging of newly diagnosed patients, potentially solving two of the challenges we are facing in the current diagnostic paradigm. »

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…