Friday, May 29, 2020 @ 11 am Pacific, Noon Mountain, 1 pm Central, 2 pm Eastern
Antibody testing for COVID-19 is rapidly evolving on a daily basis. Dr. Stephen Russell is developing a new blood-based antibody test to identify neutralizing antibodies that can determine a person's immune defense against SARS-CoV-2.
The project is a collaboration between Dr. Russell's company Vyriad and the pharma company Regeneron, and wants to make the tests commercially available through major labs soon. Dr. Russell notes that there are many different antibodies, some of which can neutralize the virus. And that those antibodies are the important ones that can tell if a patient will be protected against reinfection or not. He started looking into ways he could respond to the virus in February and a clinical trial quickly opened to study the test. Learn more about antibody testing in general and this test in particular on this fascinating show.
Dr. Russell is the CEO of Vyriad. He is also the Richard O Jacobson Professor of Molecular Medicine at Mayo Clinic and President of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. He obtained his MD from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and since that time has relentlessly pursued the goal of effective oncolytic virotherapy. He specialized clinically in hematology, then undertook his PhD training at the Royal Marsden hospital where he was the first to engineer both retroviral and parvoviral vectors to deliver interleukin genes for cancer immunotherapy. He then moved to Cambridge, England where he led a research team in the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology, developed a novel method for antibody affinity maturation using phage display libraries, pioneered the display antibody domains on retroviral vector particles and on recombinant measles viruses, and founded Cambridge Genetics, a biotechnology/drug discovery company. In 1998 he moved to Mayo Clinic where he founded the Department of Molecular Medicine, built a comprehensive oncolytic virotherapy program, developed innovative engineering approaches for targeting, arming and noninvasively monitoring OV infections, and orchestrated the GMP manufacture, preclinical pharmacological/toxicological testing, IND filing and clinical translation of a number of oncolytic Measles and Vesicular stomatitis viruses for several different cancer indications. He cofounded two oncolytic virotherapy companies which merged in 2015, thereby establishing Vyriad as the first multi-platform OV company.
Thanks to our episode sponsor, Genentech
about the author
Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of Myeloma Crowd by HealthTree and the HealthTree Foundation.