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Leading local researchers join forces to battle COVID-19

11 Day Power Play provides $150k for research
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Posted at 1:08 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 13:08:20-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Medical leaders in Western New York are joining forces to better understand the COVID-19 virus and how it works.

The Western New York Immunogenomic COVID-19 Study, unites three leading regional healthcare organizations; Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Catholic Health and the University at Buffalo. The goal of this initiative is to advance our understanding of COVID-19.

“We believe we can limit COVID-19’s deadly impact by marrying thoughtful strategy to next-generation sequencing technology — an opportunity that we never had before with any previous pandemic, using technology that in a few short years has changed the way we detect, diagnose and treat cancer,” says Dr. Odunsi, Deputy Director, the Robert, Anne & Lew Wallace Endowed Chair in Cancer Immunotherapy, and Chair of Gynecologic Oncology at Roswell Park.

According to details released on Thursday, this "team will use next-generation sequencing to identify biomarkers of immune response to COVID-19 that can be used to predict which patients are likely to progress to severe infection that would require more intensive care. The goal is to provide medical professionals everywhere with a blood test that will help them to better prognose and triage patients with COVID-19, potentially saving lives and supporting the most effective and efficient use of resources."

A fund has been set-up to help support this initiative, with 11 Day Power Play Inc., providing a $150,000 toward the project’s estimated cost of $1 million.

“The 11 Day Power Play organization has always supported the cutting-edge cancer research preformed at Roswell Park. The research they are doing in immunotherapy amid this pandemic has the greatest potential to save lives. On behalf of the 11 Day Power Play community, we are proud to help launch this critical research,” says Amy Lesakowski, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The 11 Day Power Play.