A large epidemiological study published in the July 6, 2020, advance online issue of The Lancet found that most individuals who became infected with SARS-CoV-2 developed antibodies to the virus, confirming that infection usually results in at least a short-term immune response.
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.
The U.S. FDA detailed which kinds of SARS-CoV-2 tests are getting top priority, with access to rolling, rapid reviews for emergency use authorization (EUA) during the unfolding pandemic. The agency is aiming to authorize point-of-care and at-home tests to better distribute the use of testing in various locations. It also is looking at automated and high-throughput tests that can offer analysis of larger batches of tests at one time.
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.
As more COVID-19 antibody testing becomes available, one question has been on everybody’s mind: Does the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the global pandemic, mean that people are protected from future infection? To that end, Genscript Biotech Corp., of Piscataway, N.J., has applied for emergency use authorization (EUA) with the U.S. FDA to market a test that specifically recognizes neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.
Widespread testing is going to be key to safely reopening businesses and global economies in the current pandemic. To that end, Kahala Biosciences LLC, an Irvine, Calif.-based testing and tracking startup, and its technology partner, Rymedi Inc., of Greenville, S.C., have launched the Adiona COVID-19 antibody testing platform, combining antibody testing with a blockchain-enabled smartphone app to increase predictability and traceability of potential outbreaks.
Within a month of disclosing a CA$175.6 million (US$124.7 million) award from the Canadian government to use its antibody discovery platform for the analysis of patients who have recovered from COVID-19, Abcellera Biologics Inc. closed a $105 million series B financing aimed at expanding its capacity and investing in new technologies that complement its antibody discovery engine.
TORONTO – How confident is Canada’s government that Abcellera Biologics Inc. can identify viral antibodies to help stop COVID-19 in its tracks and build the manufacturing infrastructure for antibody therapies against future pandemic threats? Enough to award the Vancouver, British Columbia-based biotech CA$175.6 million (US$124.7 million) for the application of its antibody discovery platform to the analysis of patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
LONDON – Lateral flow diagnostics specialist Mologic Ltd. has teamed up with Biosure Ltd., manufacturer of the only CE approved HIV home testing kit, to produce a COVID-19 antibody self-test. The companies are combining Mologic’s validated IgG antibody lateral flow strip with Biosure’s test kit, and say the product will be ready for mass production at the beginning of June.
The U.S. does not have a universal health care system, which means that it fails to provide a consistent level of minimum care across its population. That means that basic and preventative care often falls through the cracks, even as the U.S. continues to excel at medical innovation and offer the most highly regarded health care in the world to those who can afford it.