This network survey supports ARPA-H’s program for Antigens Predicted for Broad Viral Efficacy through Computational Experimentation (APECx). The APECx program is developing a comprehensive toolkit to enhance the discovery of effective vaccines against a wide range of viruses. The questions in this survey will help ARPA-H ensure end-user adoption by understanding the needs of researchers that will use the toolkits and large datasets potentially generated by the APECx program for medical countermeasure design.  

APECx is developing an AI toolkit that aims to overcome the limitations of traditional vaccine development methods by enabling the modeling of broadly effective antigens that target a wide range of viral pathogens. To do this, APECx intends to combine technological advances along a variety of fronts, including:  

  • Addressing the shortage of structural and functional data for viral proteins by developing novel high-throughput (HTP) characterization methods and creating new datasets 
  • Harnessing relevant datasets that are already publicly available, such as protein structures, mass spectrometry data, sequencing information (eg. DNA or RNA sequences), peptide binding assays, protein microarrays, next-generation sequencing (NGS), and immunological data 
  • Creating techniques to harmonizing multi-omics, structural, and functional datasets 
  • Applying artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to create new predictive modeling tools for designing broadly effective antigens 

The ARPA-H Customer Experience (CX) Hub initiated this approach with a Network Survey for the APECx program, which closed on May 24, 2024. The CX Hub and ARPA-H greatly appreciate the time, expertise and perspectives that was shared in the responses.  

Please continue to monitor this page for updates. Our goal is to release the public report in July 2024.

For more information, read the Network Survey description and find answers to FAQs.  

ARPA-H and the CX Hub hosted an information session to share more about APECx program, focus areas, and the Network Survey. The information session was held on May 2, 2024. For more information, view the presentation slides and watch the session recording.

Why is ARPA-H launching this Network Survey? 

The goal of this Network Survey for the Safe & Secure Biotechnology Platforms is to:  

  • Understand how to balance open access for the scientific community with security controls to prevent misuse of the APECx toolkit or datasets  
  • Understand how researchers would need to interface with the APECx tools and datasets 
  • Determine key features for the development of user-friendly interfaces and comprehensive documentation to facilitate maximum adoption of the APECx toolkit and datasets within the scientific community 
  • Understand the landscape of existing platforms that are critical for data generation and manipulation of biological systems related to vaccine and therapeutic development and the understanding of mechanisms of pathogenesis 
  • Find users/early adopters/applications, learn how users would leverage the future APECx platform and their specific use-cases 
  • Inform a framework/architecture for sharing APECx’s data and modeling tools 

Who Should Respond? 

The ARPA-H APECx program is seeking input from the scientific community, specifically (1) potential users of the APECx toolkit and datasets, and (2) experts in data management, interoperability, storage, and security. Respondents may come from academic, government, non-profit, startup, or commercial sectors, and may answer as individuals or on behalf of their organization. Relevant areas of experience/expertise include: 

  • Protein engineering 
  • Functional and structural protein characterization, multi-omics data 
  • Data management, applications, interoperability, for large datasets  
  • Developing and architecting platforms to host data 
  • Data security and management 
  • Data harmonization, metadata management, and ontology development 
  • Vaccine and Ag development 
  • AI and Machine Learning 

Note: It is not a requirement to be expert in all (or even the majority) of these areas.