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AI Helps Decode Immune System

January 8, 2018

Adaptive Biotechnologies has partnered with Microsoft to map the genetics of the human immune system, or immunome, in order to detect cancers and other diseases in their earliest stage, when they can be more effectively treated. By combining Adaptive’s powerful immune sequencing technologies with Microsoft’s research and large-scale machine learning and cloud computing capabilities, the partners aim to create individual disease diagnostics and ultimately a universal diagnostic – all from a simple blood test. Under terms of the partnership, Microsoft has made a financial investment into Adaptive, in addition to bringing research and large-scale machine learning and cloud computing capabilities to the endeavor.

 

“We are very excited and inspired by our collaboration with Adaptive Biotechnologies, as it clearly advances our mission to use cloud and AI technologies to transform healthcare and improve the lives of people around the world”

The immune system is nature’s most finely-tuned diagnostic as it routinely scans and reads any signal of disease – such as a cancer cell or an infectious agent – in the body, and holds the genetic code that can give insights into detecting these diseases. Adaptive and Microsoft are partnering to translate this genetic code into simple blood-based diagnostics that are broadly accessible to people around the world.

“This announcement comes at a time of inflection in healthcare and biotechnology. We now have the technology to be able to do what we’ve been talking about for the past decade – develop a universal TCR antigen map that presents an opportunity to help patients at an unprecedented scale,” said Chad Robins, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Adaptive Biotechnologies. “Some conditions like cancer or autoimmune disorders can be difficult to diagnose, but this universal map of the immune system will enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of disease, potentially helping physicians to connect the dots to understand the relationship between disease states and eventually lead to a better understanding of overall human health.”

This collaboration is a cornerstone of Microsoft’s Healthcare NExT initiative, and a first partnership between a leading genomics and technology company to map the genetics of the immune system. The Microsoft Healthcare NExT initiative was launched last year to maximize the ability of artificial intelligence and cloud computing to accelerate innovation in the healthcare industry, advance science through technology, and turn the lifesaving potential of next discoveries into reality.

“We are very excited and inspired by our collaboration with Adaptive Biotechnologies, as it clearly advances our mission to use cloud and AI technologies to transform healthcare and improve the lives of people around the world,” said Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President, AI and Research, Microsoft. “This collaboration combines powerful sequencing and AI technologies into a revolutionary new capability, and represents the kind of deep collaborative partnership that we live for. We are incredibly proud to bring our best people and AI capabilities together with Adaptive in this joint quest.”

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