Providence, Microsoft & more building COVID-19 collaborative dataset

Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies are expanding their longstanding partnership to map out immune responses to COVID-19 in hopes of accelerating development of a vaccine, the companies announced March 20.

Renton, Wash.-based Providence will serve as an initial clinical partner for the project. LabCorp and DNA sequencing company Illumina have also joined the effort.

LabCorp will begin collecting de-identified blood samples from COVID-19 patients at Providence and other partner institutions through a virtual clinical trial in April. The samples will be analyzed using technologies from Illumina and Adaptive, and the collected data will be cleaned and managed by Microsoft's machine learning and Azure cloud technologies.

The resulting database of population-level immune responses to the disease will be freely available to all researchers, public health officials and organizations developing COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.

"The solution to COVID-19 is not likely going to come from one person, one company or one country. This is a global issue, and it will be a global effort to solve it," Peter Lee, corporate vice president of AI and research at Microsoft, said in the announcement.

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