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The Digital Journey of Banking and Insurance, Volume I: Disruption and DNA ; : 185-212, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2324914


With this chapter, we want to provide a reading experience on how digitalization not only evokes a technical transformation but is also strongly related to a company's culture. Talking about digital transformation, there is more to consider than alignment between IT and business functions. We want to arouse interest in the reader to discover their organization's value system and provide triggers toward the development of a digi-cultural mindset. We will dive deeper into the stages of change and provide a target vision with ideas on how to master a transformation journey. © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.

Oncology Research and Treatment ; 44(SUPPL 2):288, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1623610


Introduction: Since December 2019, COVID-19 has spread rapidly across the world, leading to a global effort to develop vaccines and treatments. Despite extensive progress, there remains a need for treatments to bolster the immune responses in infected immunocompromised individuals, such as patients after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Immunological protection against COVID-19 is mediated by both shortlived neutralising antibodies and long-lasting virus-reactive T cells. Therefore, we propose that T cell therapy may augment efficacy of current treatments. For the greatest efficacy with minimal adverse effects, it is important that any cellular therapy is designed to be as specific and directed as possible. Methods: Activation of CD4+ T cells from 18 COVID-19 patients was determined by flow cytometry, both ex vivo and after in vitro restimulation with SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Nucleocapsid antigens. Immunodominant, 15-mer peptides were identified using epitope mapping. T cells clones specific for these epitopes were further chararacterised for the sensitivity and polarisation of their cytokine responses after in vitro restimulation, by ELISA and cytometric assay. Next-generation sequencing revealed fulllength, paired T Cell Receptor (TCR) αβ sequences. Results: We identified three patients with strong CD4+ T cells to SARSCoV- 2 antigens. From these patients, 81 T cell clones specific for a selection of 9 immunodominant epitopes (7 Spike and 2 Nucleocapsid epitopes) were generated. Cytokine analysis showed that the sensitivity and polarisation of T cell responses varied depending on the specific epitope. Moreover, TCRαβ sequences revealed an epitope-dependent difference in the level of clonality. Conclusions: We provide detailed information on SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells, including their antigen-specificity, the nature of their cytokine responses and the full sequence of their TCRαβ. These cells have the potential to direct an effective immune response in COVID-19 patients. Our results form a crucial first step towards T cell therapy. Efforts are underway to develop transgenic CD4+ T cells that express the SARS-CoV- 2-specific TCRs identified.

Oncology Research and Treatment ; 44(SUPPL 2):294, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1623591


Introduction: Treatment with convalescent plasma has been shown to be safe in COVID-19 infection, however, there remain conflicting results regarding its efficacy in immunocompetent patients. Nevertheless, neutralizing antibodies are a key requisite in the fight against viral infections. Patients depleted of antibody producing B-cells such as those treated with rituximab e.g. for hematological malignancies lack a fundamental part of their adaptive immunity. Therefore, treatment with convalescent plasma might still be of benefit in this particularly vulnerable cohort. Methods: Peripheral blood samples were taken from three COVID-19 patients, who were B cell-depleted after previous rituximab treatment, during the course of treatment with convalescent plasma. Flow cytometric analysis of activation markers with or without prior in vitro stimulation with SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid antigen revealed antigen-specific T cell responses. Serum levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and IgM antibodies were measured by automated CLIA. RT-PCR was used to monitor viral load in nasopharyngeal swabs. Results: All three patients made a full recovery from infection following convalescent treatment, even though serum antibody levels decline rapidly after each plasma administration. The recovery coincided with an increase in SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in peripheral blood. Conclusions: We demonstrate efficacy of treatment with convalescent plasma in three patients unable to mount an antibody response by themselves and for the first time show that although application of convalescent plasma only leads to short-lived detectable systemic antibody levels, it appears to boost long-lasting specific T-cell responses.

Pharmazeutische Zeitung ; 165(12):31-32, 2020.
Article in German | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-731530
Pharmazeutische Zeitung ; 165(21):30-31, 2020.
Article in German | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-731529