Vertebrate Antibodies will utilise its proprietary AI and recombinant technologies to tackle Covid-19

Vertebrate Antibodies Ltd (VAL) is joining forces with leading scientists and clinicians from University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian.

Existing tests can be unreliable and are not suited to rapid and mass deployment. This project, funded by the Scottish Government, will employ an innovative approach to develop a screening assay with a high-throughput capacity.  This is essential for performing mass testing on NHS staff, key workers and individuals with underlying conditions.

VAL’s proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) technology “EpitopePrediKt” will be used to identify the specific elements of the virus that trigger the body’s defence systems. Dr Tiehui Wang, Director of Biologics at VAL, will utilise the company recombinant technology to synthesis viral antigens required for the serological assay.

This approach could allow the development of a sensitive test that could be used for mass screening of NHS staff/keyworkers, identification of high-risk patients/carriers, provide data on the prevalence of Covid-19, surveillance and in the future allow targeted vaccination programs.

Lead investigator, Professor Mirela Delibegovic from the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Aberdeen said: “By employing this innovative approach, we hope to achieve high-throughput capacity in a proven format that will enable mass testing which could benefit key workers and the most vulnerable members of society.”

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