At Adaptive Biotechnologies, we are focused on decoding how the body’s immune system works to inform the development of clinical products to detect and treat disease. Two years ago, we partnered with Microsoft and have been leveraging our immune medicine platform along with their hyperscale machine learning capabilities to map population-wide adaptive immune responses to enable the earlier and accurate detection of many diseases through the identification of disease-specific immune response signatures.

Enter coronavirus.

Leveraging what we know about the immune system, we are privileged to announce today that we are extending our partnership with Microsoft and with the support of other industry leaders, we are now poised to decode the immune response to COVID-19. To accelerate the development of improved detection methods and vaccine discovery, we will make this data freely available to any researcher, public health official, or organization around the world via an open data access portal.

Right now, the vast majority of current R&D efforts are focused on the RNA of the virus itself. We’re attacking this from a different angle. There is critical information held within the genetics of a patient’s immune response to the virus and the disease patterns we can infer from studying the immune response at the population level. Immune response data may help to solve two of the key challenges we are facing in the current diagnostic paradigm: detection of the virus in infected people who are not showing symptoms and improved triaging of newly diagnosed patients. Finding the relevant immune response signature may also advance solutions to treat and prevent the disease.

A pivotal part of this effort will be our own research study to collect de-identified blood samples from individuals diagnosed with or recovered from COVID-19. Industry partners are pitching in with critical services including LabCorp, Illumina, and Providence. Immune cell receptors from these blood samples will be sequenced and mapped to SARS-CoV-2 specific antigens that have been confirmed by our immune medicine platform to induce an immune response. The antigens and mapped immune receptor data will be uploaded to the open data access portal. The accuracy of the immune response signature will be continuously improved and updated online in real time as more blood samples are received and sequenced.

We anticipate that COVID-19 will, like the flu, become part of our lives going forward. Continually generating and providing these data will help advance solutions to diagnose, treat, and prevent the disease in the future.

We invite more collaborators to join us. Other institutions or collaborators interested in contributing blood samples can direct inquiries to Please pass this information along.

As this pandemic sweeps across our communities around the world, it has been inspiring to see how the healthcare, biotechnology and technology communities, among others, have banded together to expedite potential solutions to all aspects of the current situation. In the same way, it has been amazing to see this effort come together in a short period of time – within our team at Adaptive and across our partners’ organizations, people have mobilized and are collaborating in a way that I have never seen before. I have never been prouder to be a part of an industry and a community that can truly make a difference.

We are facing a pandemic that will only be solved with a global effort that includes our best and brightest thinkers, our boldest scientists and researchers, and our biggest humanitarians.

We look forward to collaborating and sharing data with all of you.

Stay safe.

I’ve had the unique position to view the Covid-19 outbreak in Seattle from two perspectives – as a long-time resident of the city, along with my wife and two teenage daughters, and as the CEO of a commercial-stage biotechnology company.

From both perspectives, I know that uncertainty and disruption can cause anxiety. We are moving quickly – at home and at work – to adjust to a new reality. More than ever before, we must be nimble, compassionate, vigilant, patient, and responsible with ourselves and others. Most importantly, we must be positive and find the silver linings that arise from this challenge: opportunities to strengthen relationships with family and friends, learn new things, and step up as leaders at work and in the community.

At home, my wife, Kristi, and I are adjusting to two teenage daughters being out of school, with online and app-based learning. We are exploring online exercise classes, taking family walks, and have dusted off games that haven’t seen the light in years. Of course, it’s a struggle to know where to draw the line on who, with and where the kids can hang out.

How can we remain focused at work? For those of us in medicine, there is no choice. To quote a colleague, “We are dealing with patients who are continuing to battle various cancers and they need us. Our doctors and customers are continuing to provide care and make their patients their top priority…our ability to get clonoSEQ to them remains important.” Adaptive has employees that need to be physically present: laboratory staff who process clinical tests and R&D teams who are advancing key discoveries about the adaptive immune system. I also plan to maintain a presence at the company to support my team, albeit within the zone guidelines that our response team has outlined.

I’ve been so impressed with the way my colleagues are handling this moment in time. Adapters are banding together, going above and beyond to do everything possible to move the business forward. We’ve assembled an exceptional cross-functional working group to ensure that we’re protecting all of our employees and maintain uptime. People make the difference and we have the most dedicated people I have ever seen.

Adaptive is in a very healthy financial position, with significant cash reserves to weather this storm. We will be smart about how we deploy these resources and we will continue to build in areas that we can. We need to act with urgency to get our products developed and out to patients. And, we are working to understand the immune response to this pandemic and potential ways in which this information can advance new solutions. We have already identified key research partners and will soon be processing samples to determine what signal we can find. We will have more to share on this soon.

I want to assure you that this will pass, we will get through it, and we will come out stronger than ever. In fact, there’s never been a more important time to deliver on our promise to change medicine and serve patients.

Please stay healthy.