Microsoft Immunomics

Microsoft Immunomics

Established: January 4, 2018

Overview

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Research

The human immune system is an astonishing diagnostic system, continuously adapting itself to detect any signal of disease in the body. Essentially, the state of the immune system tells a story about virtually everything affecting a person’s health. What if we could “read” this story? Our scientific understanding of human health would be fundamentally advanced. More importantly, this would provide a platform for a new generation of precise medical diagnostics and treatment options. We are partnering with Adaptive Biotechnologies to develop the machine learning and biotechnology tools that will allow us to realize this dream.

The Antigen Map Project

The Antigen Map is the complete mapping of which T-cells bind to which antigens. If we knew nature’s map, we could read the story about what your T-cells are currently targeting or have targeted in the past. Although the scale of the complete map is enormous, using a combination of high-throughput sequencing, functional assays and cloud-scale machine learning, we are learning to decode that map for disease-specific antigens. As this map comes into focus, we will unlock a new approach to diagnosing disease based on reading your immune system.

Blood sample

1 mL of blood contains about 1 million T-cells, each of which is genetically programmed to target a specific antigen your body is trying to control.

Immunosequencing

Adaptive’s immunoSEQ technology sequences the T cell receptor (TCR) gene that encodes each T-cell’s antigen specificity.

Machine learning

Microsoft is developing machine learning technologies that translate TCR sequences to the antigens they recognize.

Empowered care

Information about antigens your T-cells are actively targeting provides a basis for diagnosing cancers, infections and autoimmune diseases.

 

Learning to Decode the Immune System to Diagnose Disease

Adaptive recently published a proof of concept for this project (Emerson, et al. Nat Genet. 2017), demonstrating that shared TCRs can be used as a basis for diagnosing viral infection. Despite the enormous complexity of the immune response, the elegant simplicity of this approach shows how common immunological solutions to pathogens can be used to provide a window into what the immune system is actively targeting. In principle, this approach can be extended and augmented with antigen-specific binding data to provide diagnostics for cancers, infections and autoimmune diseases. Our aim is to sequence the T-cell repertoires of 25,000 individuals affected by one of the five specific diseases we are initially pursuing based on unmet clinical need and our understanding of the underlying immunology:

Oncology

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

Autoimmune Disease

  • Type I diabetes
  • Celiac disease

Infectious Disease

  • Lyme disease

Other diseases

  • Other diseases with an unmet need for a blood-based diagnostic

In the News

UF Health, King’s College London researchers awarded $3.7 million to study molecular origins of type 1 diabetes
University of Florida | November 16, 2018

How Microsoft and Adaptive Biotech became ‘a single team’ to build groundbreaking AI diagnostic
GeekWire | October 9, 2018

AI and health: Using machine learning to understand the human immune system
ZD Net | June 29, 2018

Microsoft Uses AI to predict hundreds of illnesses from single blood test
Silicon Republic | January 4, 2018

Microsoft invests in Seattle biotech, partners to map human immune system
Puget Sound Business Journal | January 4, 2018

Microsoft partners with Adaptive Biotechnologies to decode the human immune system
MSPoweruser | January 4, 2018

Microsoft, Adaptive Biotechnologies Partner to Study Immune System Genetics
Genome Web | January 4, 2018

Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies are using AI to decode the immune system
Fast Company | January 4, 2018

Adaptive Biotechnologies announces partnership with Microsoft to decode the human immune system to improve the diagnosis of disease
Digital Journal | January 4, 2018

All we have yet to understand
NewsCo Shift | January 4, 2018

Adaptive Biotechnologies announces partnership with Microsoft to decode the human immune system to improve the diagnosis of disease
Business Wire | January 4, 2018

Microsoft invests in Adaptive Biotechnologies to develop blood test to detect diseases
Seattle Times | January 4, 2018

Microsoft, Adaptive partnership bets AI-biotech combo can decode our immune system
Healthcare IT News | January 4, 2018

Microsoft partners with Adaptive Biotech on AI-driven blood test to diagnose dozens of diseases at once
Geekwire | January 4, 2018

Microsoft Blogs

Learning to read the immune system

Every immune system has a story to tell; the key is knowing how to listen

That is the challenge that united us and Seattle-based Adaptive Biotechnologies one year ago. We set out to completely transform the way we diagnose, monitor and treat disease by creating a universal blood test to scan the body for past and present signs of infections, cancers and autoimmune diseases. The basis of our approach is the T-cell Antigen Map: nature’s mapping of T-cells to the antigens they bind.

Microsoft Health Blog | January 3, 2019

Learning to decod the immune system

Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies announce partnership using AI to decode immune system; diagnose, treat disease

The human immune system is an astonishing diagnostic system, continuously adapting itself to detect any signal of disease in the body. Essentially, the state of the immune system tells a story about virtually everything affecting a person’s health. It may sound like science fiction, but what if we could “read” this story?

Microsoft Blog | January 4, 2018