National Core Studies Immunity Programme Initiative: Next generation assays to assess cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2
The Covid-19 National Core Studies (NCS) Immunity programme, in collaboration with Innovate UK and MRC is looking to assess cellular immunity against SARS-CoV- 2. To support this work, KTN is organising a workshop on 15th April, which will include presentations from the NCS Immunity programme.
Vaccination or pre-existing natural immunity can both provide strong protection against symptomatic infection or re-infection by SARS-CoV-2. However, the extent to which immune protection may vary amongst the population, and how public health measures might be required to address this, are currently uncertain.
Humoral immunity, through assessment of antibody specificity and titre, is relatively well advanced and focusses largely on the relative importance of neutralising and non-neutralising antibodies against the SARS-CoV- 2 Spike protein. In contrast, current techniques to measure cellular immune responses are more limited.
The Covid-19 National Core Studies (NCS) Immunity programme, in collaboration with Innovate UK and MRC is looking to address this issue, including through moving towards the clinical implementation of novel assay systems that can define the magnitude and profile of cellular immune response for SARS-CoV-2, and which may have application to other infectious agents and/or immune targets.
To support this work, the KTN is organising a workshop on 15th April 2020, which will include presentations from the NCS Immunity programme, to consider questions on:
- The purpose(s) for which a cellular assay/test needs to be developed – Is it to address whether an individual has been infected in the past and/or the to predict the risk of re-infection/post-vaccine infection, based perhaps on the quality (breath and/or strength) of immune response
- The biomarkers/cellular characteristics that need to be measured and how to measure these, with a particular consideration of T cell characteristics, but other cellular characteristics including, B cell and innate (e.g., NK) cell responses, could be of interest, where appropriately justified
- The format that the assay will need have in relation to the purpose, where the measurement will be made central lab, point of care, low-resource setting, etc) and at what throughput, cost per sample, etc
If you are interested in attending, please register here.
Current funding opportunities
SBRI Competition - Assays for SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) cellular immune responses
Opens: 26/04/2021 Closes: 26/05/2021
Organisations can apply for a share of £1.5million inclusive of VAT, to develop assay systems to define the magnitude and profile of cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 (known as Covid-19).