COVID-19 Tech Collaborations: Adaptive And Microsoft Map Immune System Responses
A two and half year-old partnership between Adaptive Biotechnologies and Microsoft that began with a focus on Lyme disease has transitioned to mapping immune responses to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. By identifying and matching T cell receptors to antigens associated with the virus – and leveraging the power of machine learning – the companies hope to improve COVID-19 vaccine development, locate potential antibodies for drug development and create better, more sensitive diagnostics.
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Through an ever-growing number of partnerships, grants and investments in the health care sector, Microsoft is taking a lead from behind approach to improve and expand interoperability, increase data security and analytics, and provide partners with tools, technology, and a platform for growth.
Though vastly underreported, new cases of Lyme in the US total more than 300,000 a year; its incidence now exceeds infections for far more visible conditions like HIV. A higher profile for Lyme is hobbled by a slow and distorted institutional response, especially among clinicians who disagree on whether Lyme is one disease or a complex constellation of many – much like cancer, but without the commitment.
From pre-med to pharma lab rat to deputy director of operations at the FDA, Khushboo Sharma, a 2021 In Vivo Rising Leader and current VP of science and regulatory affairs at BIO, has spent her career pursuing a goal she says the FDA and biopharma industry have in common: ensuring that innovative drugs get to patients.