NEW YORK ─ The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics and BIOASTER on Tuesday announced that they will work together on clinical studies to investigate antibody testing for COVID-19 and gain an understanding of how the immunological status of patients changes over time.
The clinical studies will aim to generate data on the possible association between the longevity of antibody response and the severity of COVID-19 over a period of nine to 10 months, using samples from patients seeking care at the Hospices Civils de Lyon and Centre Hospitalier Annecy Genevois in France.
The collaboration will also include the evaluation of serological tests to detect the durability of the immune response.
"While there are a great many antibody tests now available, changes in antibody status over time ─ and what this means for immunity ─ is not yet clear," Catharina Boehme, CEO of Geneva-based FIND, said in a statement. "The work we are doing with BIOASTER will help us understand this disease better and begin to clarify when and how we should be using antibody tests in a way that will add the most value to our arsenal of different test types."
The clinical studies are being conducted in support of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, a collaboration of governments, scientists, businesses, citizens, philanthropists, and global health organizations formed to accelerate development, production, and access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
FIND and BIOASTER, based in Lyon, France, noted that it is critical to understand not only the clinical performance of antibody tests, but also how they perform in the context of the different use cases, at both individual and population levels. This information will be vital to support the roll out of vaccines when they become available, and may also have implications for some societal interventions, including travel, they said.
Data from the performance evaluation studies will be posted on the FIND website as soon as they become available to inform in-country decision making. The partners anticipate that the data on the change in antibody status over time will be published when the study is completed in the summer of 2021.