AXIM Biotechnologies has entered into a collaboration with Arizona State University for an initiative that seeks to identify people with low Covid-19 neutralising antibody levels, who are therefore vulnerable to infection.

Under the collaboration, the partners will develop a Covid-19 ‘Correlate of Protection’ using AXIM’s rapid neutralising antibody test.

AXIM and Arizona State University will conduct a study to determine a threshold when neutralising antibody levels against Covid-19 declines among people.

For this new study, Arizona State University associate professor Douglas Lake will recruit people who are at high-risk, and their neutralising antibody levels will be observed every week using AXIM’s rapid neutralising antibody test.

They will also be tested weekly, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in their body.

The determination of a threshold is expected to help in avoiding future infections while also enabling healthcare providers to recommend a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Lake said: “We expect that people whose neutralising antibody levels are high will not become infected compared to those that have low levels of neutralising antibodies.

“Using this study design, our goal is to develop a ‘Correlate of Protection’ so that people can keep their antibody levels high enough to avoid infection and potential transmission of the virus to vulnerable populations.”

According to AXIM, measuring the responses of anti-viral T cells is technically and logistically difficult compared to measuring antibodies.

The company’s Covid-19 neutralising antibody test measures the functional neutralising antibodies’ levels, which prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering the host cells.

AXIM Biotechnologies CEO John Huemoeller said: “When our rapid test indicates that someone’s neutralising antibody levels are low, healthcare providers might recommend a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine, especially for someone who is high-risk, such as a healthcare provider, teacher, immunosuppressed or elderly.”