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Microsoft, Adaptive Biotech Collaborate to Fight COVID-19

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Zacks Equity Research
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Microsoft MSFT and Adaptive Biotechnologies ADPT recently extended partnership in a bid to aid public health officials and researchers to access and track data pertaining to COVID-19 patient immune responses.

The dataset is aimed at enabling health care practitioners to develop diagnostic blood test through which virus can detected accurately despite people being asymptomatic. Moreover, the dataset can be leveraged to analyze and enhance the order of treatment for newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients.

The open source dataset will be deployed on Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure. Microsoft’s robust Azure Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities will complement Adaptive’s strength in “immunosequencing” technology.

Increasing adoption of Azure to support healthcare workloads provide the cloud platform with immense exposure in the domain, which is a positive. Robust adoption of the company’s offerings is instilling confidence in the stock.

Notably, shares of the company have returned 16.7% in the past year, compared with the industry’s rally of 1.7%.

Microsoft & Healthcare Players Team Up

The researchers and public-health organizations will be able to access the dataset of the research inferences and other findings for free, via an open-access portal, which will be made available in the days ahead.

The process involves collection of blood samples from COVID-19 patients who eventually recovered, with an aim to accelerate medical fraternity’s efforts to develop a vaccine for the pandemic.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings’ LH Covance Drug Development arm, and mobile phlebotomy service will be utilized by Adaptive to collect anonymous blood samples, beginning April, and map immune response data.

Providence and Illumina, which is engaged in DNA-sequencing technology, have also joined the initiative. Notably, an initial clinical collaborator happens to be the first U.S. COVID-19 patient, treated by Providence’s hospital near Seattle.

The companies intend to scale the open data initiative globally to enrich the database, which is expected to eventually improve the inference as the sample broadens.

Wrapping Up

Microsoft’s latest initiative is a testament to the company’s growing focus on expanding presence in the multi-trillion healthcare sector with innovative solutions. Moreover, Microsoft’s ongoing healthcare initiatives in partnership with Nuance, Providence St. Joseph Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and UCLA, remain noteworthy.

Markedly, tech giants includingApple AAPL, Alphabet, Facebook, among others, are also exploring the usage of innovative technologies including AI, Big Data and Data Science for the management of COVID-19 crisis.

For instance, Apple has unveiled a new COVID-19 section in Apple News in a bid to offer latest verified reports from trusted sources. Further, the company has taken strong measures to scrutinize the data provides by COVID-19 related apps in AppStore.

Microsoft’s expanded partnership with Adaptive is expected to aid the broader medical fraternity and the global ecosystem to advance initiatives to contain the COVID-19 spread and find a cure.

Zacks Rank

Microsoft currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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