Biogen Inc., the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Partners HealthCare are teaming up to create a repository of biological samples to help research into treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus, officials announced Thursday.
Biogen, the Cambridge biotech company linked to an early cluster of COVID-19 cases stemming from a February meeting at a Boston hotel, is asking its employees who have recovered to volunteer for the project by supplying blood samples.
The project will help scientists study a large collection of medical data that will offer insights into why some people are severely affected by the disease and others are asymptomatic.
Partners HealthCare, the parent company of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, is coordinating the outreach and sample collection effort.
Data from blood samples will be generated at the Broad Institute, where it will be kept anonymous.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a very direct, very personal impact on our Biogen community," said Dr. Maha Radhakrishnan, the company's chief medical officer. "We are uniquely positioned to contribute to advancing COVID-19 science in an organized and deliberate way so we can all gain a better understanding of this virus."