This week, the Alphabet-owned company Verily launched the first project of its new COVID-19 research initiative, which is studying antibodies in people previously tested for the novel coronavirus.
The study will collect blood samples from participants three times over the course of several weeks to screen for COVID-19 antibodies, also collecting nasal swab samples to test for current infection.
The serology study is being held in the Bay Area with people tested through the company's Project Baseline, which partners with county health departments to offer community-based testing for SARS-CoV-2.
“The idea is to understand the trajectory of when antibodies form, how long they last, and also which tests are most advantageous,” said Jessica Mega, Verily’s chief medical and scientific officer.
Researchers say determining whether COVID-19 antibodies offer protective immunity will be key to developing treatments and vaccines for the disease, which currently has no cure.