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Serum from people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to help researchers monitor antibody development for possible guidance on immunity
LEXINGTON, MA, May 12, 2020 – iSpecimen today announced it will supply the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with serum samples from subjects who have previously tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
iSpecimen is an eight-year-old company dedicated to efficiently providing researchers with the human biospecimens and data they need to develop diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines for a range of diseases, including cancer. iSpecimen recently received an urgent request for proposal from the CDC for 700 blood collections – 600 from subjects who tested positive for COVID-19 and 100 from subjects testing negative. iSpecimen participated in a competitive bid process and secured the yearlong project after submitting a proposal demonstrating its ability to supply the required serum samples from subjects two to four weeks after their positive COVID-19 test. Collections for the CDC have already begun.
“Our mission is advancing medicine by supporting research, and we’re taking the fight to the coronavirus,” said iSpecimen Founder and CEO Christopher Ianelli, MD, PhD. “The CDC urgently needs deidentified blood samples from a large number of COVID-19 patients, as well as deidentified information about those patients and their symptoms. Fortunately, we offer the capabilities and extensive partner network to get the job done.”
Focus: understanding short- and long-term immunity
There continue to be many unknowns with respect to COVID-19, most notably whether those who contract the disease gain immunity against future infections. In an effort to better understand both the short-term and longer-term impact on immunity, researchers are studying the level of COVID-19 antibodies present over time in blood samples obtained from people who were infected with COVID-19. Blood samples are being collected and evaluated from subjects several weeks after a positive COVID-19 test result and for some, three and six months later as well. These samples will help researchers understand the antibody response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus following an infection and how these antibodies change over time, shedding light on possible immunity.
As required, iSpecimen is obtaining all samples under informed consent and institutional review board (IRB) approval. Per the CDC, iSpecimen is supplying custom-collected 10 ml samples.
Seeking recovered patients to assist in pandemic fight
Since samples from recovered COVID-19 subjects are in high demand among researchers in pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, iSpecimen is actively recruiting recovered patients to participate in a variety of COVID-19 research projects. Patients who are interested in potentially donating samples should visit iSpecimen COVID-19 Donor Registration for more information.
Headquartered in Lexington, MA, iSpecimen is the marketplace for human biospecimens, providing researchers with the specimens they need from the patients they want. The privately held company has developed the iSpecimen Marketplace, an online platform connecting healthcare organizations that have access to patients and specimens with the scientists who need them. Proprietary, cloud-based technology enables researchers to intuitively search for specimens and patients across a federated partner network of hospitals, labs, biobanks, blood centers, and other healthcare organizations. Researchers easily and compliantly gain access to specimens to drive scientific discovery. Partner sites gain an opportunity to contribute to biomedical discovery as well as their bottom line. Ultimately, healthcare advances for all. For more information about iSpecimen, please visit www.ispecimen.com.