COVID-19 response: research and testing

We are actively conducting research on COVID-19 with the goal of developing an antibody-based treatment. Additionally, we are maintaining limited laboratory operations in order to better serve our customers and collaborators who are doing their utmost in the fight against the pandemic. Follow the latest updates here.

Track record of pandemic response

As a leader in immune repertoire sequencing and research, iRepertoire has an established track record in pandemic response. Our founder, Jian Han, M.D., Ph.D., was awarded a Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award for his work during the SARS outbreak. Dr. Han’s team also worked to respond to H5N1, H1N1, H7N9, and Zika. At the HundsonAlpha Campus, we have the privilege of collaborating with several neighboring/sister companies that are also working to find diagnostic solutions for combating COVID-19.

Read more about the HudsonAlpha activities surrounding COVID-19 here

Developing a treatment

The typical defense against pandemics are vaccines; however, due to the pipeline from development, to testing, to market, vaccines take years to establish. With the novel coronavirus, we do not have years. According to Rick Myers, PhD, president and scientific director for HudsonAlpha, “A COVID-19 treatment is the best way to bridge the gap until a vaccine is widely available.”

iRepertoire is currently working to develop a treatment based on antibodies. Antibody-based treatments, unlike vaccines, can also effectively be used to treat patients who are already infected. Dr. Han always says “the immune system is nature’s best doctor.” By examining the immune repertoire of patients who have successfully recovered from COVID-19 infection, we can develop a blueprint for antibodies that might help treat future patients.

We are currently analyzing samples from patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19 through Huntsville Hospital, under a Hunstville Hospital IRC approved protocol. “By understanding the immune system of patients that have effectively fought the pathogen, we can pinpoint the exact identity of cells that effectively eliminate the virus out of millions of possibilities” says Dr. Han on this current study. With this growing body of insight into patient proteins, we seek to guide development of an effective treatment for the disease.

Supporting your research

At iRepertoire, we’re doing our part to ensure social distancing, while still making sure we can support the research that’s going to lead to COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments. We’ve split our research group into small teams that work in shifts with ample sterilization procedures in between. At this time, we do not anticipate a delay in sending products out or in completion of service projects.

Latest COVID-19 news

Webinar | When infections get personal: Identifying patient-specific infection responses with multidimensional RNAseq

Webinar | When infections get personal: Identifying patient-specific infection responses with multidimensional RNAseq

Multiple organ dysfunction is a feature of some high severity cases of COVID-19, in part brought on by an adverse immune response. In this webinar, Dr. Jeremy Prokop will discuss how his team at Michigan State University is applying a multidimensional RNA-seq based approach to measuring individual immune responses to COVID-19 and how that can…

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A radar map of the immune system's response to COVID-19, published by scientists who discovered SARS

Scientists who discovered SARS just revealed a radar map of the immune system’s response to COVID-19

In this study, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology on September 30th, researchers used sequencing to characterize the immune system of patients who survive from COVID-19 infection from symptom onset through recovery. Importantly, they also identified a potent biomarker for predicting disease progression. Follow-up studies could lead to the development of a…

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Dr. Jian Han stands facing the camera in a polished white shirt, slightly smiled. Slightly blurred for the background is the view of an empty lab room at Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology

Presentation from our Founder, Dr. Jian Han

State-of-the-art Infectious Disease Response In this presentation, our founder, Dr. Jian Han, discusses how iRepertoire’s technology has evolved from lessons learned through multiple epidemics to identify helpful antibodies with first-rate specificity, now using single-cell sequencing. Gain a personal overview of our pathway as a company, and an insider introduction to a new test we’re developing…

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SARS-CoV-2 virus medical illustration. 3D rendering of a close-up virus has a reddish pink base and blue and teal spike proteins. In the background, 3 more stylized viruses are blurred and smaller, in the distance.

Precision medicine workflow featuring RepSeq+ could help predict organ failure in COVID-19 patients

One of the biggest challenges in addressing COVID-19 has been the variability in the degree and type of symptoms that infected individuals have presented. Though it’s still unclear how to treat COVID-19 most effectively, one thing is certain: not all patients will require the same form or level of treatment. Therefore, precision medicine will likely…

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Beckman Coulter COVID-19 Research Symposium

COVID-19 Research Symposium: Webinar

Learn about our progress developing antibody-based therapies for SARS-CoV-2 in this presentation from Dr. Miranda Byrne-Steele, featured at Beckman Coulter Life Sciences’ COVID-19 Research Symposium. COVID-19 is very much a part of our lives today. Without herd immunity, we will need stopgap treatments to help patients fight SARS-CoV-2. We are actively researching and developing promising…

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Blue-gloved hand holds up a PCR strip half filled with pink liquid, taking up most of the frame.

Launch of new viral RNA extraction solution with Beckman Coulter Life Sciences

One step toward alleviating critical RNA extraction bottlenecks The pandemic has resulted in a world-wide shortage of viral RNA extraction kits. Until COVID-19 tests that don’t require RNA extraction are developed and become widely available, we need to alleviate the bottleneck. To help fill this shortage, we teamed up with Beckman Coulter labs to test…

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White, beige, and blue glass, 4-5 story office building where iRepertoire is housed on the Hudson Alpha campus in Huntsville, Alabama

Screening local COVID-19 patient samples for antibodies

We are currently partnering with HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology and Huntsville Hospital (Huntsville, AL) to study local patients diagnosed with COVID-19 under a Huntsville Hospital IRC approved protocol. We are screening patient samples for antibodies to study how the immune system responds to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in hopes of guiding the development of an effective…

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COVID-19 Science Spotlight on iRepertoire. See how iRepertoire, an industry leader in immune repertoire sequencing, is helping to combat COVID-19. Join speakers Miranda Byrne-Steele and Chelsea Berngruber in the YouTube LiveStream on March 1st, 2020 at 4:30 PM EST. Sponsored by Samba Scientific.

Sharing COVID-19 updates: Science Spotlight

COVID-19 Science Spotlight Learn about testing barriers and initiatives in this short interview recorded live last week as part of Samba Scientific’s COVID-19 Science Spotlight series. Here, leading iRepertoire scientists discuss identifying antigen-specific B cells in COVID-19 patients. Identifying antibodies specific to COVID-19 in infected patients could lead to the development of antibody-based treatments.

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Closeup of an astronaut with a closed helmet positioned on the right half of the image, looking accoss to the left. Helmet has a gold shimmer and background is a blurred white and grey

Rocket city scientists help in the fight against Coronavirus

iRepertoire is working with iCubate, our sister company in the Hudson Alpha Institute, to develop innovative solutions for combating the Coronavirus. On one side of the intervention strategy, iCubate is distributing diagnostic tests based on the same technology that powers the iR-Flex automation system. On the other side, iRepertoire will be sequencing the immune repertoire…

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How can you be part of the solution?

We are currently seeking samples from infected patients and collaborators who could help produce anti-COVID-19 antibodies at scale. Contact us now if you could be a collaborator in this effort.

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