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First Molecular T Cell Monitoring Tool for SARS-CoV-2 Launched

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 Aug 2020
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Adaptive Biotechnologies (Seattle, WA, USA) has launched immunoSEQ T-MAP COVID, a proprietary research product and data analysis service to accurately and reproducibly measure the T-cell immune response to vaccines in development and track the persistence of that response over time.

immunoSEQ T-MAP COVID provides researchers with a quantitative map of T-cell receptors (TCRs) and SARS-CoV-2 antigens that are driving the immune response to vaccines and other therapies in development for COVID-19. This reproducible, high-throughput, high resolution, molecular data will be made available through Adaptive’s existing cloud-based immunoSEQ Analyzer to assist with analysis and visualization of the immune response. Data from the Snyder et al. manuscript elucidate the magnitude and dynamics of the T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 infection from over 1,000 patients and several thousand controls. First, Adaptive’s immune medicine platform was used to identify the parts of the virus that induce a T-cell response. These data confirm findings from other studies showing that T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 is directed against a small number of viral antigens in addition to the spike protein, the current target of most vaccines in development. These targets may inform design or enhancement of next-generation vaccines.

Then, the shared “public” T-cell receptors that are specific to those immunogenic parts of the virus were identified. These TCRs enable T-cell response to the virus to be measured and tracked over time at the individual and population levels. Most notably, >90% of patients still have these shared SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells for several months post confirmed diagnosis, the maximum time period currently available to assess response. These results are powered by ImmuneCODE, a groundbreaking open database developed with partner Microsoft, to share the population-wide T-cell immune response to the COVID-19 virus with the research community. Previously published research on other coronavirus infections have demonstrated persistent T cells for years following initial infection, even when antibodies are undetectable in convalescent patients, highlighting the importance of the T-cell response in understanding immunity to the virus. Based on these results and ongoing research on real-world samples, Adaptive is also completing validation of a clinical T-cell based diagnostic to broadly identify past exposure reliably and reproducibly. The company is pursuing an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA for use of this diagnostic test, immunoSEQ Dx SARS-CoV-2.

“The critical role of the T-cell response is increasingly becoming a focus of attention. While antibodies have been a mainstay of measuring the immune response to vaccines, for COVID-19, it is becoming clear that the T-cell response is necessary for a complete picture of immunity,” said Harlan Robins, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder. “Adaptive’s proven immune medicine platform is designed for the quantitative sequencing and mapping of T cells at scale from a simple blood draw and can be incorporated seamlessly into clinical trials.”

“The ImmuneCODE data and analyses to date have several real-world applications to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including the support of vaccine trials and therapeutic development,” said Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President, Research & Incubations, Microsoft. “As we continue to grow this groundbreaking database and measure the persistence of the adaptive immune response over time, these critical findings will advance ongoing and new efforts to help solve this global public health crisis.”

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