As the search for an effective COVID-19 treatment or vaccine continues, a biobank launched by a consortium, including Partners HealthCare, Biogen Inc. and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, is aimed at advancing knowledge of the novel virus.
The biobank will provide scientists with a large collection of de-identified biological and medical data for studies, from volunteers including Biogen employees – among Massachusetts’ first individuals to be diagnosed with and recover from COVID-19. This unique, clustered group of patients with common exposure could reveal why some people show signs of disease and others are asymptomatic, or why symptoms vary so dramatically in severity. Researchers will also examine blood samples from recovered patients to evaluate the levels of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and other aspects of their immune profile, which may point the way toward short- and long-term therapeutic options.
Partners HealthCare, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital are coordinating the outreach and sample collection effort. “Our investigators have been working around-the-clock on several promising clinical trials that we hope will lead to effective treatments for COVID-19. But patient participation in research is critical – and this biobank is a significant advancement for the research community and the broader patient population," says Ravi Thadhani, MD, PhD, Partners Chief Academic Officer. “Through this collaboration with Biogen and their employees who have volunteered to share their information, we will be able to learn significantly more about the characteristics and development of this disease and make important discoveries that will lead to treatments for the patients we care for and those around the world.”
Learn more here.
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