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Multi-Site Study Tracks Immune Response of COVID-19 Patients

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The 2,000 patient-study will use Fluidigm’s Mass Cytometry technology.

Fluidigm’s mass cytometry technology and its Maxpar Direct Immune Profiling Assay are being used in a prospective observational cohort surveillance study of up to 2,000 adult participants hospitalized with COVID-19.

The study, which is titled Immunophenotyping Assessment in a COVID-19 Cohort (IMPACC), is being conducted by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in collaboration with the Human Immunology Project Consortium and the Asthma and Allergic Diseases Clinical Research Consortium.

“The goal of this study is to look at a much larger cohort of people that were infected and we also wanted to look at the differences geographically in a lot of different centers,” Andrew Quong, Fluidigm's Chief Science Officer, told MD+DI.

He added, “In addition to looking at one or two time points they are looking at how the immune system is impacted long term. They’re collecting data not just when the person is admitted with bad clinical symptoms. They’re also trying to collect samples after the patient has been released. So, the study includes timepoints up to a year after a release because the disease seems to be much more impactful than something like influenza. It’s important to understand the effect it has on the general immune system.”

COVID-19 patients age 18 and older are enrolled in the study within 36 hours after admission to a hospital. Samples are collected from nasal swabs, blood, and tracheal fluid at 10-time points from hospital admission to up to one year after discharge. When possible, researchers will also examine lower airway secretions collected from patients requiring a ventilator for breathing support.

“There are many unanswered questions about the diversity of the COVID-19 patient journey, why some experience only mild symptoms while others face life-threatening complications,” said Chris Linthwaite, President and CEO of Fluidigm said in a release. “A deep and meaningful understanding of the immune system during the course of infection and in response to therapies is of critical importance in fighting this pandemic.

Linthwaite added, “Fluidigm is battling this pandemic on multiple fronts, having filed for Emergency Use Authorization from FDA for an extraction-free saliva-based test to detect the COVID-19 virus. We are gratified for the inclusion of our technology in the IMPACC study, and we look forward to new discoveries that can potentially have an impact on patient lives.”


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