30 April 2021 | News
The 221b Foundation Grants licenses to Cooper International and United PPE to manufacture COVID-19 diagnostic tests using Sherlock’s CRISPR technology and to distribute across Asia and the Middle East
Photo Credit: Freepik
The 221b Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Sherlock Biosciences to address the global COVID-19 pandemic while promoting diverse representation in STEM, announced that it has granted Cooper International and United PPE licenses to develop and manufacture COVID-19 diagnostic tests using Sherlock’s CRISPR technology. The agreements will increase access in Asia and the Middle East.
By providing its CRISPR technology, called SHERLOCK, through The 221b Foundation, Sherlock is facilitating pathways for the development and delivery of rapid, accurate and automatable solutions to directly benefit patients and the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are deeply committed to increasing access to diagnostics globally and are excited that these organizations will translate the promise of our CRISPR platform into COVID-19 diagnostic solutions,” said Rahul Dhanda, co-founder, president and CEO of Sherlock Biosciences and founding board member of The 221b Foundation.
The SHERLOCK diagnostic platform can achieve single molecule detection of nucleic acid targets; its name stands for Specific High Sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing. SHERLOCK utilizes CRISPR activity for “smart amplicon detection” and can be adapted for use with existing diagnostic instruments, improving time to result due to its significant multiplexing capacity. When a specific sequence of DNA or RNA is present, a CRISPR enzyme is activated and, much like a pair of scissors, starts cutting nearby genetic material, releasing a fluorescent signal that indicates a positive result. In May 2020, Sherlock received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Sherlock™ CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit, the first FDA-authorized use of CRISPR technology.
Ayman Cheikh Lahlou, CEO of Cooper Pharma said, “The assay design is uniquely suited to covering new and emerging variants and can be easily automated for high throughput.”
“We are excited to expand access to COVID-19 diagnostics by bringing Sherlock’s CRISPR platform to the Asian market,” said Peter Hon Chong, CEO of United PPE America.