Oncimmune/Medicines Discovery Catapult win UK government funding for COVID-19 research tool

Oncimmune has been awarded funding from the UK government to support a joint collaboration between Oncimmune and Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) for the development of an infectious disease research tool for use in COVID-19.

The IMPACTT programme will collect samples and clinical data from 3,000 UK COVID-19 patients to be studied by Oncimmune to develop and validate an ‘Infectious Disease NavigAID’ panel of biomarkers that can be used in COVID-19 research.

This research tool will be designed to predict both likely patient response to the virus and effectiveness of vaccines and treatments against it.

The programme will aim to analyse the immune system’s response to COVID-19, and will use Oncimmune’s proprietary profiling platform to stratify patients into three categories of response to the virus – mild, moderate and severe.

Oncimmune will then use this data to develop, refine and validate a dedicated ‘NavigAID’ panel which can then be deployed to predict COVID-19 disease severity and therapeutic response.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic moves from the immediate challenge of developing novel diagnostics, we are now entering a phase where the world needs to better understand this disease in infected patients in order to optimise therapeutic outcomes,” said Adam Hill, chief executive officer of Oncimmune.

“Oncimmune has been in discussion for some months now to utilise its differentiated technical knowledge to develop a comprehensive diagnostic tool capable of characterising the immune system’s response to COVID-19 and, as a consequence, being able to better predict patient symptom severity and treatment response.

“Together with MDC, this programme is now underway, and will shortly be ready to optimise the first wave of novel therapeutic approaches to preventing and treating this disease,” he added.

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