IsoPlexis Plays a Key Biomarker Role in Consortium with Merck and Institute for Systems Biology to Identify SARS-CoV-2 Prognostic Immune Biomarkers

IsoPlexis’ Functional Proteomics Will Enable Biomarker Discovery in Patients with COVID-19

The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) today announced a research collaboration agreement with Merck to “investigate and define the molecular mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 and identify targets for medicines and vaccines” in a press release titled “Merck and Institute for Systems Biology Collaborate to Define Molecular Mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Identify Potential Prognostic Biomarkers.” The ISB has partnered with multiple industry leaders and institutions to study COVID-19, including a partnership with IsoPlexis to accelerate the development of improved detection methods that inform understanding and treatment of COVID-19.

“This collaboration with Merck provides critical support for the recently launched scientific trial being co-led by ISB and Swedish Medical Center, both part of the Providence St. Joseph Health network,” said Jim Heath, president of ISB. “We launched this trial with the urgent need to improve our understanding of COVID-19. By applying the full power of our systems biology capabilities, we hope to gain important insights into the molecular basis for the dramatically contrasting outcomes observed for patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.”

Researchers at ISB along with those at the Swedish Medical Center and several research groups and biopharmaceutical companies, including IsoPlexis, will be analyzing nasal and blood samples from COVID-19 patients at Swedish Medical Center collected at various stages of the disease: initial presentation, acute disease and convalescence. A variety of methods and technologies will be used to identify potential biomarkers and characterize the immune response that could help predict the risk of severity in cases of this disease.

IsoPlexis’ partnership with ISB seeks to help map functional immune responses at the single-cell and serum level to study COVID-19 by looking at the immune response in patients who have been diagnosed or recovered, to learn more about contributing factors to outcome. Single-cell functional proteomics and very small sample volume CodePlex proteomic assays are being used to accelerate the fight against COVID-19 by helping uncover differences in response to and toxicity from COVID-19. IsoPlexis’ single-cell functional proteomics platform will be utilized on a variety of immune cell types, including various T cells and myeloid cells to map the overall response.

Merck is working with investigators at ISB to provide funding for the development of targets for potential drugs and vaccines, beginning with samples from 200 patients. “Understanding the molecular characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and of the immune response to this virus, is essential to the development of effective interventions,” said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories.

Uncovering functional immune responses using IsoPlexis technologies have underpinned key breakthroughs in therapies that harness the immune system across disease areas. The data from this partnership will be released as soon as possible and made globally available to researchers combatting the disease.

IsoPlexis has developed a Cytokine Storm Package to provide a fully automated solution to characterize and compare the Secretome from infected, uninfected, and recovered individuals in bulk populations as well as in individual live cells for scientists researching COVID-19. Learn more about breakthroughs in vaccine development for infectious diseases such as COVID-19 with interviews from key opinion leaders in this Infectious Disease eBook.

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