What happened

Shares of Adaptive Biotechnologies (ADPT -2.81%) rose over 61% in the first six months of the year, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. That was easily better than the 4% decline of the S&P 500 in that span.

The stock had been mired in a near-continuous slide from its initial public offering last summer through this March, but that changed when the company pledged to throw its technology platform at the coronavirus pandemic. Can the growth stock continue its momentum in the second half of 2020?

A businessman riding a cartoon rocket.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Adaptive Biotechnologies is developing a technology platform that mines and maps biological data related to the adaptive immune system. Considering the role of the adaptive immune system in COVID-19 progression and recovery, it makes sense for researchers to leverage the company's platform to better understand the health crisis.

Adaptive Biotechnologies teamed up with Microsoft, LabCorp, Illumina, and others to combine population-level data in an attempt to discover insights that could influence public health decisions and drug development. The findings, part of the ImmuneCODE database, have been made freely available to researchers across the globe. Meanwhile, the data-mining company is also working with Amgen to discover therapeutic antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Now what

Investors might not want to get too carried away. Adaptive Biotechnologies cannot directly monetize its contributions to the ImmuneCODE. Of course, that's not the point, but the share price suggests not everyone is aware of that reality. Given the fact the business is reporting widening operating losses as it scales its platform, a lot of future potential is already baked into the current $6.2 billion valuation.