Adaptive Biotechnologies CEO Chad Robins. (GeekWire Photos / Kevin Lisota)
A novel effort from Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies to diagnose multiple diseases from a single blood test is a data challenge on the scale of Google search.
“Google categorized the world’s information on the internet. What we’re essentially trying to do with Microsoft is to catalog … what the interaction is between our immune system and all the diseases that they bind to,” said Adaptive CEO Chad Robins. “After we start building this map out disease by disease, this is actually a web-scale problem.”
Robins made the comments at the 2019 GeekWire Summit on Tuesday in Seattle during an interview with journalist Luke Timmerman, founder and editor of the Timmerman Report.
Rather than indexing web pages, Adaptive and Microsoft are using artificial intelligence to map out signals associated with diseases as well as the cell receptors that bind to them. The idea is to get a clear enough picture that the companies can produce what Robins called an “X-ray for the immune system.”
Unlike the human genome, which was mapped as part of the Human Genome Project, there is no map of the immune system. Seattle-based Adaptive aims to change that with technology that decodes the genetic information associated with T cells, which are vital to immune response.
“Adaptive went out to the trillion-dollar companies and said, ‘Who can partner with us on this? And who can put their massive machine learning capabilities and cloud compute onto this? Microsoft wound up being a great partner,” Robins said.
Luke Timmerman (left), founder and editor of the Timmerman Report, interviews Adaptive Technologies CEO Chad Robins at the 2019 GeekWire Summit on Tuesday in Seattle.
Once the companies have mapped the characteristics of several diseases, they aim to compare the immune sequences of individuals to that master map and look …read more