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March 23, 2020

Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies partner on Covid-19 mapping

By Chloe Kent

Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies have announced they will leverage their existing partnership, mapping population-wide adaptive immune responses to diseases at scale, to study Covid-19.

Adaptive will open enrolment in April to collect deidentified blood samples of individuals diagnosed with or recovered from Covid-19, using a LapCorp-enabled mobile phlebotomy service. Immune cell receptors from these samples will be sequenced using Illumina platform technology and mapped to Covid-19 specific antigens, which will have been confirmed by Adaptive’s proprietary medicine platform to induce an immune response.

The immune response data derived from the initial discovery work and samples will be uploaded to an open access data portal. Using 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 companies are seeking additional participation from institutions and research groups around the world to contribute blood samples to the open data initiative.

Microsoft corporate vice president of AI and research Peter Lee said: “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.”

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