Immunotherapy company ImmunityBio has partnered with Microsoft to leverage the latter’s Azure platform to create a 3D model of Covid-19’s spike protein.

The novel coronavirus’ spike protein allows the virus to dock and bind to the ACE2 surface protein of human epithelial cells in the respiratory tract, thereby infecting these cells so they reproduce thousands of copies of the virus.

Having a clear understanding of this high-profile target will support and accelerate the development of antibody therapies and vaccines against Covid-19.

Microsoft AI and research corporate vice-president Peter Lee added: “Microsoft is committed to bring our technology and expertise to bear in solving the complex computing problem of modelling this protein.

“With ImmunityBio we are working to speed the effort to find a treatment for this deadly virus that has affected every part of the globe.”

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