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NEC Laboratories Europe announces the start of pre-clinical validation studies for NEC’s AI-driven blueprint design for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine

NEC Laboratories Europe announces the start of pre-clinical validation studies for NEC’s AI-driven blueprint design for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine

Heidelberg, Germany, May 25, 2020 – NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH announces the start of pre-clinical validation studies for NEC’s AI-driven blueprint design for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Following the release of the blueprint design for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine resulting from a successful collaboration with NEC OncoImmunity AS, NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH (NLE) in partnership with German startup Belyntic GmbH and academic partners, is now taking the next step of validating the blueprint design in a lab environment. In particular, some of the candidate viral epitopes will be evaluated whether they are recognised by T-cells in the blood of convalescent patients; this is an essential step in support of international vaccine development efforts.

NEC’s AI-driven blueprint design for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have taken a citizen-centric view as opposed to a virus-centric approach to prophylactic vaccine design. Genetic variance in citizens of different parts of the world lead to differences in immune responses; our AI algorithms consider this variance and ensure the vaccine is effective and non-toxic for the entire world population. Using unique NLE-developed AI techniques, NLE analysed the genome of the virus and identified peptides, which may lead to immunity, in conserved regions of the viral genome; these are areas that are less likely to mutate and therefore effective as vaccine targets. Together with the incorporation of the specific citizen genotypes, for which those peptides are effective, this approach is designed to increase the likelihood of immunity in the entire global population.

To validate the AI-generated results available at BioRxiv, NLE has started a collaboration with German chemistry-for-healthcare startup Belyntic GmbH, proficient at synthesizing the peptides and preparing for wet-lab experiments. Their Peptide Easy Clean (PEC) platform technology allows the purification of custom peptides in parallel. This unique approach enables NLE to explore a greater choice of its peptide prediction pool in fast turnaround times.

The peptides will be used in pre-clinical wet-lab experiments by our academic partners. In order to determine their immunogenicity, the peptides will be tested in blood samples from convalescent COVID-19 patients.

Quote from NEC Laboratories Europe
“We have to ensure broad and long-lasting protection to control the coronavirus pandemic. Our graph-based artificial intelligence methods allow us to find the best epitope candidates for immunizing the entire population. The peptides synthesized by Belyntic will ensure that the pre-clinical validation performed by our academic collaborators set us down the right path for a universal prophylactic vaccine.” (Dr. Brandon Malone, Senior Researcher)

Quote from Belyntic
“Speed is everything to master the corona pandemic. With our catch-and-release technology, we can synthesize and purify libraries of 96 custom peptides in a few days. Our academic partners complement the sample journey with the relevant pre-clinical studies. This way, we can help NLE to quickly reveal the immense potential of their prediction tool and set the basis for the development of efficient peptide-based vaccines.” (Dr. Oliver Reimann, co-founder and Managing Director)

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About Belyntic GmbH
Belyntic GmbH is a Berlin-based chemistry-for-healthcare startup and developer of the Peptide Easy Clean (PEC) purification technology.
The company’s headquarter is located in the facilities of the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Richard-Willstaetter-Str. 11, 12489 Berlin, Germany.

For more information, please visit https://belyntic.com/ or contact Dominik Sarma, co-founder and Managing Director, on dominik.sarma@belyntic.com.

About NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH
NEC Laboratories Europe located in Heidelberg, Germany was established in 1997 with special emphasis on meeting the needs of NEC Group’s European customers. It dedicates research, development, and standardization on cutting-edge information and communication technologies for creating innovative social solutions. Our major research areas are including 5G networks, data science, artificial intelligence, IoT platforms as well as IoT security, and blockchain. These technologies will promote NEC Group’s Solutions for a better Society in fields of digital health, lifeline and communication infrastructures, safer cities and public services.

For additional information, please visit our website at: http://www.neclab.eu

NEC is a registered trademark of NEC Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Other product or service marks mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners. ©2020 NEC Corporation.

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