Business Wire

NEC OncoImmunity AS and Oslo University Hospital Team Up to Develop a Diagnostic for COVID-19 Using Artificial Intelligence

Share

NEC OncoImmunity AS (NOI), a subsidiary of NEC Corporation (NEC), and Oslo University Hospital (OUH) are pleased to announce that they have recently been awarded a prestigious grant from the Research Council of Norway (RCN) to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that will enable the rapid design of T-cell diagnostics for emerging or endemic infectious diseases. The project will develop a novel T-cell diagnostic for the current COVID-19 pandemic to complement the current serological tests. This will improve the ability to identify immune responses and acquired immunity, which is desperately needed to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Current technologies involve extensive trial and error to define exactly which parts of the pathogen induces robust immunity. These so-called immunodominant epitopes need to be identified for the general population. These demanding, work-intensive and time-consuming steps are necessary to develop tests to monitor the T-cell response to viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 (the infectious virus that causes COVID-19).

Reliable diagnostic tests to identify immune individuals are critical to overcome the ever-looming threat of COVID-19. The AI-based diagnostic to be developed in this project will complement antibody tests and enable individuals who are naturally immune to the virus following infection with SARS-CoV-2 or other seasonal coronaviruses, or who have acquired immunity following vaccination, to be identified.

“Antibody tests are an important aspect of understanding the immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection and will remain a mainstay of its diagnosis. However, protective SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses occur in antibody-negative infected individuals who have successfully resolved the infection. In addition, we may already have underlying immunity in the population due to cross reactivity to endemic seasonal human coronaviruses,” said Professor Ludvig A. Munthe Ph.D., Head of Research and Group Leader, Department of Immunology, Oslo University Hospital.

Although the technology to develop antibody diagnostics is readily available, this is not the case for T-cell diagnostics, which currently represents a “blind spot” for the monitoring of immunity to COVID-19 in the world’s population. To address this important gap, NOI and OUH, with the support of RCN, have now committed themselves to develop an AI-designed T-cell diagnostic that monitors the underlying T-cell response to the infection. Developing a reliable T-cell diagnostic comes with specific technological challenges with solutions offered by the NEC Immune Profiler at NOI to cater for the global human population.

“T-cells are known to play a central role for initial and long term immunity against viruses. However, T-cell responses are highly variable between different pathogens and genetic groups in the human population, making the prospect of developing reliable universal T-cell diagnostics for COVID-19 challenging. This challenge has inspired the scientists at NOI to use our AI to seek out the T-cell response to infection as a diagnostic signal. In this project we look forward to adapting the NEC Immune Profiler and other AI technologies at NEC Corporation and leveraging them to develop a COVID-19 T-cell diagnostic for the diverse genetic makeup in the global human population,” said Trevor Clancy Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, NEC OncoImmunity AS.

The development of such an AI platform will not only help to contact-trace and control transmission against COVID-19. In fact, the platform developed by NOI and NEC in this project will be to a large degree pathogen/disease agnostic and may be used in future emergency settings to rapidly develop novel diagnostics against new emerging pandemics caused by novel dangerous infectious agents.

“The AI platform will be applied first to the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, we will design this platform to be future-proof and make it applicable to any future emerging infectious agent that could threaten the global population. This will open up new exciting opportunities in the growing infectious disease diagnostics market for our company,” said Richard Stratford Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, NEC OncoImmunity AS.

It has been over a century since the world has encountered a pandemic like COVID-19. The pandemic has taken over one million lives to date, and the spread of COVID-19 around the globe and the associated mortality has been devastating. The pandemic has sparked fears of a chronic worldwide recession. Shut-downs, social distancing and travel restrictions have reduced the capacity of the global workforce and destroyed many jobs and businesses. The NOI and OUH collaboration marks an important initiative to develop a reliable diagnostic test that can identify immune members of the global population following natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 or other seasonal coronaviruses.

“A reliable T-cell diagnostic to help alleviate the socio-economic and serious health burden caused by COVID-19 will be important for the world community to overcome this present pandemic crisis. We are proud that NEC's AI technology can contribute to the resolution of the COVID-19 threat. As a company that seeks to enhance the well-being of society, NEC will continue to capitalize on research and development that maximizes the strengths of our AI technology to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and protect the human population against future pandemic threats,” said Akira Kitamura, General Manager of the AI Drug Development Division, NEC Corporation.

About NEC OncoImmunity AS

NEC OncoImmunity AS is a bioinformatics company offering proprietary machine learning-based software called the NEC Immune Profiler, which addresses the key knowledge gaps in the prediction of bona fide immunogenic neoantigens for personalized cancer immunotherapy. The NEC Immune Profiler can be used to identify optimal neoantigen targets for truly personalized cancer vaccines & cell therapies in a clinically actionable timeframe, and also facilitate effective patient selection for cancer immunotherapy. For more information, visit NEC OncoImmunity AS at http://www.oncoimmunity.com/.

About NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation has established itself as a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies while promoting the brand statement of “Orchestrating a brighter world.” NEC enables businesses and communities to adapt to rapid changes taking place in both society and the market as it provides for the social values of safety, security, fairness and efficiency to promote a more sustainable world where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. For more information, visit NEC at http://www.nec.com. For additional information, please also visit NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH at: http://www.neclab.eu

About Oslo University Hospital

Oslo University Hospital is a part of Southern and Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority and an OECI-accredited Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC). Each year, more than 1.2 million patient treatments are carried out at the hospital, which is the largest of its kind in Scandinavia. Oslo University Hospital is owned by the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority (HSØ) and delivers specialist healthcare services to patients all over Norway. Oslo University Hospital is Norway’s largest hospital with around 20,000 employees and is responsible for a significant proportion of the medical research and the education of medical personnel in the country. More information about Oslo University Hospital can be found at https://oslo-universitetssykehus.no.

Contact information

NEC OncoImmunity AS:
Trevor Clancy Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer, NEC OncoImmunity AS
Phone: +47 41431242
Email: trevor@oncoimmunity.com

Oslo University Hospital:
Ludvig Munthe Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital
Phone: +47 93461540
Email: ludvig@uio.no

About Business Wire

Business Wire
Business Wire
24 Martin Lane
EC4R 0DR London

+44 20 7626 1982http://www.businesswire.co.uk

(c) 2018 Business Wire, Inc., All rights reserved.

Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the global leader in multiplatform press release distribution.

Subscribe to releases from Business Wire

Subscribe to all the latest releases from Business Wire by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from Business Wire

iHeartMedia and Podimo Partner to Translate and Adapt Widely Popular Podcasts For Listeners Globally25.11.2020 12:00:00 CETPress release

iHeartMedia, the No. 1 audio company in America and the No. 1 podcast publisher globally, and European podcast platform Podimo today announced a strategic partnership to translate and adapt popular podcasts across the globe in different languages, introducing these podcasts to hundreds of millions of new listeners. The partnership will kick off with the widely popular true crime podcast “Forgotten: Women of Juárez” (Olvidadas: Muertes de Juárez) about femicides in Mexico’s most dangerous city in three languages: Spanish, German and Danish. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201125005440/en/ In one of 2020’s most intimate and shocking true crime podcasts, “Forgotten: Women of Juárez,” from iHeartMedia and Unusual Productions, hosts Mónica Ortiz Uribe and Oz Woloshyn investigate theories surrounding the disappearance of hundreds of young women along the Mexican border city of Juárez. Some are tragically found with

RIDDLE&CODE Launches Trusted Gateway to Accelerate the Future of the Distributed Energy Market and Enable New Business Models25.11.2020 10:30:00 CETPress release

The shift from the centralised energy system with a small number of dominant bulk producers to a decentralised renewable marketplace with a multiway flow of information requires not only new business models and entities but also a guarantee that the data generated out of them are trusted and immutable. RIDDLE&CODE laid the foundation for accelerating the future of decentralised energy by introducing the Trusted Gateway. At the core of the Trusted Gateway is the Secure Element, a part of RIDDLE&CODE’s “Built for Blockchain” product range, enabling the secure storage of the digital identity (private key) on any device through a combination of hardware and software. By providing secure public/private key infrastructure, the Trusted Gateway solves the problem of machine identity and creates a unique, cryptographically secured digital representation of an object, assigning it with identity, addressability and transaction capabilities. “In the context of the energy system, by giving the digi

BearingPoint: Organizations That Invest in Frontline Managerial Skills Are More Resilient and Adaptable Than Competitors25.11.2020 08:57:00 CETPress release

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that organizations that invest in frontline managerial skills are more resilient and adaptable than competitors. Frontline managers initiate process improvements and new ways of working. According to a recent study by the BearingPoint Institute, the research arm of management and technology consultancy BearingPoint, company leaders must make frontline managers a driving force for change to ensure transformation success and adapt to market changes. "With transformational pressures exerting themselves on business, frontline managers have never been more crucial to organizations. Our study shows how important it is to develop, empower and unleash the skills, enthusiasm, and innovation of these leaders. It is the only way to get the most out of digitalization and quickly adapt to the continuously changing market. Investing in frontline management will not only mean continuing success, but it will help you identify and hone tomorrow's leaders," says André Est

European Commission Approves Janssen’s TREMFYA ® ▼ (guselkumab), a First-in-Class Treatment for Active Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)25.11.2020 08:00:00 CETPress release

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced today that the European Commission (EC) has approved TREMFYA®▼ (guselkumab) for the treatment of adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) who have had an inadequate response or who have been intolerant to a prior disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy. Guselkumab is the first approved fully human monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to the p19 subunit of interleukin (IL)-23 and inhibits its interaction with the IL-23 receptor. It is already approved for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. IL-23 is an important driver of the progression of inflammatory diseases including psoriasis and PsA, among others.1 PsA is a multifaceted, chronic, immune-mediated inflammatory disease that is progressive and is characterised by debilitating joint damage and inflammation, in addition to enthesitis, dactylitis, axial disease, and the skin lesions associated with psoriasis

Universal Peace Federation: 70 Years After the Korean War World Leaders Call for Peace at Online Rally of Hope24.11.2020 19:19:00 CETPress release

Millions of viewers tuned into hundreds of broadcast stations and gathered online to call for peace among and between nations at the third Rally of Hope sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in Korea on Sunday, Nov. 22. UPF was founded in 2005 by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and is an NGO in General Consultative Status with the United Nations. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201124005906/en/ Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon addresses live audience and online participants from all around the world at the Rally of Hope (Photo: Business Wire) Mrs. Moon announced two new projects: to set up Korean War memorials in those nations that do not yet have them and create an online registry of all those who sacrificed in any way to support Korea during its darkest hour. “All around the world, unforeseen and unexpected challenges are erupting in the realms of politics, economy and religion” she said. “We

Verimatrix Chief Revenue Officer Named to SportsPro OTT Summit Advisory Board24.11.2020 17:45:00 CETPress release

Regulatory News: Verimatrix, (Paris:VMX) (Euronext Paris: VMX), the leader in powering the modern connected world with people-centered security, today announced that Lu Bolden, Chief Revenue Officer, was named to the SportsPro OTT Summit Advisory Board, the group that shapes one of world’s most prominent sports broadcasting annual events. The second annual event takes place December 2-3, 2020. Organized by SportsPro Media, this year’s virtual SportsPro OTT Summit is the preeminent venue for learning the latest in strategy, content and technology trends in the sports broadcasting market. The OTT Summit Advisory Board reads as a who’s who of the digital sports broadcasting realm, including executives from the UFC, NFL, MotoGP, Fox Sports, DAZN, PGA Tour, Canal+, Formula One, NBC Sports and the International Olympic Committee. Bolden brings to the group the needed expertise in how to easily deliver excellent fan experiences on any device while also securely scaling during popular live eve