How Data Is Critical to Engineering Antibodies to Block COVID-19

Episode Summary
Distributed Bio aims to use its computational antibody engineering platform to identify antibodies that protect against SARS and optimize them to block the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus. This week Harry gets an progress update from three key Distributed Bio scientists.

Episode Notes
Building on his March 2020 interview with Jake Glanville, the founding partner and CEO of South San Francisco-based computational antibody engineering startup Distributed Bio, Harry speaks with three company scientists in the trenches: JP Buerckert, director of computational immunology, and Shahrad Daraekia and Jack Wang, both senior scientists. Together they’re working on projects such as engineering existing human antibodies to the SARS virus so that they’ll also work against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV2.
The company’s special sauce lies in its computational algorithms for analyzing antibody gene sequences and generating billions of new candidate antibodies against different pathogens. “We have a very strong wet lab team that is generating data for us and then we have a very strong data team that is sorting through these data” to help scientists decide which antibody leads to move forward with, Buerckert explains.