Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies to accelerate vaccine discovery for coronavirus

March 21, 2020

Developing an effective vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19) is the need of the hour. Medical research communities in several countries around the world are developing and testing vaccine for coronavirus. In order to accelerate the vaccine research, Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies yesterday announced the expansion of their partnership. Through their partnership, they will map population-wide adaptive immune responses to diseases at scale to study coronavirus. If the immune response signature is found, then it may advance solutions to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease, augmenting existing research efforts. Microsoft and Adaptive will make the data freely available to any researcher, public health official or organization around the world via an open data access portal.

Here’s how Microsoft and Adaptive will develop immune response data:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

“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.”

Health Institutions or collaborators interested in contributing blood samples can send an email to [email protected].

Source: Microsoft

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