The 221b Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Sherlock Biosciences to address the global COVID-19 pandemic while promoting diverse representation in STEM, and LogicInk, a lifestyle sensor company developing bio-chemical Signals that can be worn or applied daily, today announced the organizations have entered into a license agreement to enable LogicInk to utilize Sherlock Biosciences’ CRISPR technology to develop an instrument-free diagnostic biosensor for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“At Sherlock Biosciences, we recognize the critical role that testing has and will continue to play in mitigating the spread of Covid-19,” said Rahul Dhanda, co-founder, president and CEO of Sherlock Biosciences and founding board member of The 221b Foundation. “CRISPR has demonstrated tremendous promise as a diagnostic tool with rapid, multiplexing capabilities, and because Sherlock holds the most comprehensive IP position in CRISPR diagnostics, we launched the 221b Foundation to ensure that organizations interested in aiding the fight are able to access our technology. We are thrilled to partner with LogicInk to address the critical need for improved testing during the pandemic, as well as further the advancement of STEM education in young women, girls and minorities using proceeds from any resulting sales.”
Combining Sherlock’s proprietary CRISPR diagnostic technology with LogicInk’s DNA nanotechnology proprietary platform may enable entire populations to self-administer and screen for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA (COVID-19) simply by identifying an appropriate color combination. Because LogicInk’s solution can be efficiently mass-produced and does not require instrumentation, it is financially and logistically feasible to test entire populations for COVID-19. The sensitivity of the test is designed to be comparable to the benchmark standard solutions without requiring a centralized laboratory or expert users to be involved.
“There is tremendous financial and logistical need for an easy-to-use test that does not require any testing cartridges or other complex devices to support large-scale, decentralized testing for COVID-19,” said Carlos Olguin, founder and CEO of LogicInk. “Last year, the Sherlock team made history with the first FDA authorization of CRISPR, and we’re excited to combine this same technology with our own to develop a rapid, instrument-free test that can be leveraged in a range of venues, including at home and in point-of-care settings like doctor’s offices, pharmacies and mobile clinics.”
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.
About Sherlock Biosciences
Sherlock Biosciences is dedicated to providing global access to the simplest and most accurate tests that empower individuals to control their own healthcare. Through its Engineering Biology platforms, the company is developing applications of SHERLOCK™, a CRISPR-based method for “smart amplicon detection,” and INSPECTR™, a synthetic biology-based molecular diagnostics platform that is instrument-free. SHERLOCK and INSPECTR can be used in virtually any setting without complex instrumentation, opening up a wide range of potential applications in areas including precision oncology, infection identification, food safety, at-home tests and disease detection in the field. In 2020, the company made history with the first FDA-authorized use of CRISPR technology. For more information visit Sherlock.bio.
LogicInk is a lifestyle sensor company, developing non-invasive tattoo-like biosensors called “Signals” that help consumers track and measure their bodies and the environments around them. Powered by programmable chemistry and biology, LogicInk Signals display a real-time readout on a person’s accumulation of UV exposure, pollution, hydration levels, alcohol consumption awareness (NIH funded), and more. We envision a future where LogicInk Signals seamlessly integrate into daily life, allowing us to see the invisible and take action to live a longer and healthier life. Backed by a team of world renowned physicists, chemists, designers, computer scientists, synthetic biologists, and physicians, LogicInk is headquartered in San Francisco, with partners and collaborators located around the world. For more information, visit logic.ink.
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