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Oxford BioDynamics advances EpiSwitch™ disease severity program for COVID-19 with top US academic health center, Oregon Health & Science University

Oxford BioDynamics advances EpiSwitch™ disease severity program for COVID-19 with top US academic health center, Oregon Health & Science University

  • Expertly annotated patient samples from world-class clinical research facility
  • Samples used to advance development of the world’s first 3D genomic severity test for COVID-19 disease built using the EpiSwitch™ platform
  • Goal is to provide insight into a wide range of COVID-19 responses, from mild to severe
  • Adds to Oxford BioDynamics’ growing bank of 500+ procured samples from cohorts around the world

Oxford, UK– 28 October 2020 – Oxford BioDynamics Plc (AIM: OBD), a biotechnology company developing personalized medicine tests based on 3D genomic biomarkers, has signed a Human Material and Data Transfer Agreement with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) as part of its EpiSwitch™ COVID-19 disease severity test program.


Some people infected with COVID-19 become severely ill and hospitalized, while many only experience mild illness. Under the terms of the agreement, samples from OHSU will be used to further the development of the Company’s COVID-19 severity test, aimed at forecasting individuals’ risks of severe disease progression in advance, to inform risk mitigation decisions and help optimize acute and long-term treatment.

Ranked among the best hospitals in the US,1 OHSU has been operating right at the frontline throughout the pandemic. Since 28 February, with the first US COVID-19 hotspot on its doorstep, OHSU has seen 3,950 patient cases, as of 26 October.2 Clinicians have encountered and treated patients experiencing a wide range of responses, from asymptomatic through to severe cases who were admitted to intensive care or succumbed.


OHSU is the first US Academic Medical Centre to join Oxford BioDynamics’ disease severity program on a non-commercial basis as part of the COVID-19 Technology Access Framework initiative it is involved with.3 OHSU is providing clinical research samples from patients with the full spectrum of manifestations of COVID-19, together with in-depth expert description and annotation. These add to Oxford BioDynamics’ growing bank of 500+ samples from cohorts across the world. The Company is developing the world’s first 3D genomic test to determine likelihood of disease severity (prognostic).


Dr Jon Burrows, CEO of Oxford BioDynamics commented: “We are gratified that our disease severity program has attracted the attention and support of a prestigious institution like OHSU. The well-annotated samples provided by this world-class facility will deepen our understanding of patient response and enhance development of our test. We are continuing to grow our network of leading international institutions interested in analysing how the 3D genome informs COVID-19 response.”


Oxford BioDynamics is developing the disease severity test based on its proprietary EpiSwitch™ technology which has been reduced to practice.4 EpiSwitch™ will be used to retrospectively analyse the OHSU samples, comparing the 3D genomes of the patients to how they responded to the virus. The 3D structure of a patient’s genome contains important molecular regulatory information, about what makes certain patients particularly vulnerable to hyperinflammation and severe side effects, when exposed to COVID-19 infection. Oxford BioDynamics is establishing a panel of biomarkers to forecast the expected severity when infected with COVID-19. This will help to assess an individual’s level of risk and assist in patient prognoses. Having this information could significantly help patient triage and treatment, ease the burden on healthcare systems and human resources.


Bill Messer, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, OHSU added: “With the second wave of COVID-19 sweeping the globe, it is clear that we have a way to go in the fight against this virus. In April, we joined the COVID-19 Technology Access Framework, which aims to expedite the development of promising technologies to diagnose, treat and prevent COVID-19. Oxford BioDynamics shares the same mission, and their technology and its prognostic capabilities hold potential in helping both patients and the health care system.  We are glad to contribute our samples and knowledge to help advance development of the Company’s COVID-19 disease severity test.”



About Oxford BioDynamics Plc

Oxford BioDynamics Plc (AIM: OBD) ("Oxford BioDynamics") is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of 3D genomic biomarkers for use within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.

The Company's award-winning, proprietary technology platform, EpiSwitch™, aims to accelerate the drug discovery and development process, improve the success rate of therapeutic product development and take advantage of the increasing importance of personalised medicine.

In particular, EpiSwitch™ can reduce time to market, failure rates and the costs at every stage of drug discovery.  Additionally, the technology provides significant insights into disease mechanisms for drug discovery and product re-positioning programs, enabling the personalization of therapeutics for patients in the context of challenging pricing environments where improved clinical outcomes are critical.

In April 2019, Oxford BioDynamics received the Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation. The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses.

The Company is headquartered in the UK and listed on the London Stock Exchange's AIM under the ticker "OBD".  For more information please visit our website,, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Melanie Toyne-SewellManaging Partner