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Virax Biolabs Partners With University of Manchester, Northern Care Alliance on Long COVID Study

NEW YORK — Virax Biolabs said on Thursday that it has formed an alliance with the University of Manchester and Northern Care Alliance Foundation Trust, a member organization of the UK's National Health Service, to investigate T-cell responses in long COVID-19 patients.

The data generated through the collaboration will support Virax's development of a diagnostic test for long COVID.

According to London-based Virax, the partners will assess the company's ViraxImmune platform — which uses intracellular staining and flow cytometry to determine the percentage of activated T cells in a blood sample that has been prepared with a novel peptide mix — to evaluate the role of memory T-cell-driven immunity in respiratory disease patients. Part of this study will include a cohort of patients experiencing long COVID symptoms and will involve the longitudinal assessment of samples to discern specific phenotypic T-cell profiles associated with these individuals, the company added.

The patients are being evaluated as part of the Immunology of Respiratory Conditions or ImRESP study, which is sponsored by the Northern Care Alliance Foundation Trust and is evaluating the long-term effects of respiratory infections on the immune system in different contexts including long COVID and chronic lung disease progression.

"Our valued research collaboration with University of Manchester is instrumental in generating impactful data on T-cell-driven immunity's role in symptoms linked to T-cell exhaustion and chronic inflammation following post-viral exposure," Virax CEO James Foster said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Virax inked a contract to establish a facility at Imperial College London that will serve as its first lab for blood draws and analysis for the ViraxImmune platform.