Biogen joins consortium for building COVID-19 'biobank'

FILE PHOTO: A sign marks a Biogen facility, some of whose employees have tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a meeting in Boston, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

(Reuters) - Biogen Inc said on Thursday it had joined a consortium to build a collection of biological and medical data, where its employees who had tested for and recovered from the coronavirus would be able to participate.

Several employees of the U.S. drugmaker had tested positive for the novel coronavirus after an internal company meeting in Boston earlier this year.

The potential volunteers are Biogen employees who were among the first people in Massachusetts to be diagnosed with and recover from COVID-19, as well as close contacts, including those who were not tested or who may not have had symptoms, it said.

The collaboration will help collect data to advance knowledge and search for potential vaccines and treatments, Biogen added.

Biogen said the consortium included Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Partners HealthCare.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich, Aditya Soni