If the SARS-CoV-2 virus has achieved anything useful in the world of in vitro diagnostics, it’s that the associated pandemic has shone a bright and unsparing light on the respective merits of diagnostic and surveillance testing. Harvard University’s Michael Mina, an assistant professor of epidemiology, was one of several academic researchers who took up the gauntlet yet again in opposition to what they characterized as a gross misunderstanding of the respective roles of these types of tests, a misunderstanding they said must be addressed if the pandemic is to be corralled.
Adarza Biosystems Inc.’s Ziva platform can simultaneously detect hundreds of proteins, antibodies, or substrates from a single drop of blood, plasma or serum, providing insight into an individual’s immune response. That could be critical for both surveillance and diagnostic purposes as the nation prepares for a likely second wave of the novel coronavirus in the fall when multiple respiratory pathogens will be circulating.
Partners Adaptive Biotechnologies Corp., which is based in Seattle, and Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. have started sharing an open database that details the immune response in COVID-19 patients with researchers and public health officials. The project is analyzing thousands of de-identified patient blood samples submitted from institutions around the world and is dubbed ImmuneCODE.
David Southwell, a seasoned pharma exec and CEO of newly funded Tscan Therapeutics Inc., called from a small, unadorned conference room on the Harvard campus to talk about his new company. He's used to being on the clinical development side, where the accommodations are a bit more posh, but nonetheless he's pleased to be investigating T-cell therapy for cancer patients.