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Can a Study from Verily and Janssen Shed More Light on COVID-19?

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Verily and Janssen will team up for the study, which aims to collect detailed information about how the virus affects the immune system immediately after someone tests positive for COVID-19.

Verily is launching a COVID-19 Immune Response Study with Janssen Research & Development. The study is another layer to the Alphabet company’s Project Baseline.

Verily said the study aims to enroll individuals confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 who will participate from home. The study will collect biological measurements, clinical, and epidemiological data at the time of COVID-19 testing to characterize longitudinal molecular and/or immunological signatures associated with progression of disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection over 28 days.

“Acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by SARS-COV-2 and other viral and bacterial pathogens carries with it a high mortality rate, and more than 2.2 million people will suffer each year as a result,” said James Merson, PhD, Global Head of Infectious Diseases R&D, Janssen. “Since immune response patterns observed in COVID-19 patients are similar to those caused by other respiratory pathogens, it is our hope to apply the findings from this study beyond COVID-19 to other illnesses that carry a high patient burden.”

The company said real-world data may be collected from participants spanning from up to two years prior to study participation, during active study visits, and up to two years following the last study assessment.

The South San Francisco, CA-based company launched the Baseline COVID-19 Research Project in May – with the first tranche of the study looking at antibody testing.  Verily closed out 2020 with a $700 million investment that would accelerate key initiatives including Project Baseline.

“COVID-19 is impacting millions of people worldwide from all different backgrounds and health statuses,” said Jessica Mega, MD, MPH, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Verily. “We are pleased to partner with Janssen to conduct this important exploratory study which will focus on determining viral-induced immune response across different populations. We anticipate learnings from the study will help to better inform future treatment and prevention practices as the world continues to fight this devastating pandemic.”

Project Baseline isn’t the extent of Verily’s involvement in tackling COVID-19. The company addressed COVID-19 testing constraints in August by establishing a CLIA-Certified Lab.

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