Multiple Partnerships Ensure Point-of-care and High-throughput CRISPR COVID-19 Diagnostic Kits at Global Scale
BOSTON, June 23, 2021 – The 221b Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Sherlock Biosciences to address the global COVID-19 pandemic while promoting diverse representation in STEM, today announced that its partnerships will increase COVID-19 diagnostic manufacturing capacity by up to 10 million tests per month by year-end. Through multiple license agreements this year with organizations including ALBOT Technologies, Cooper International, LogicInk, Rokline, United PPE and binx health, The 221b Foundation has enabled manufacturing and global distribution in the U.S., United Arab Emirates, India and Singapore, and is in discussions to expand beyond these geographies to increase access for vital diagnostic solutions around the world.
The 221b Foundation was founded to aid in the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic by enabling access to intellectual property associated with the company’s SHERLOCK™ CRISPR-based technology. Proceeds from third-party sales of SHERLOCK CRISPR COVID-19 products have supported programs that promote racial and gender diversity in STEM, including HMS MEDscience, Scratch and The Akilah Institute.
“As the world mobilized to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, our mission obligated us to be part of the global solution. The 221b Foundation is one of our most important responses – an open innovation model to provide our comprehensive CRISPR IP estate to expedite the end of the pandemic,” said Rahul Dhanda, co-founder, president and CEO of Sherlock Biosciences. “Since launching the Foundation, we have enabled a variety of use cases from point-of-care to strategic testing centers in the country of Nepal to highly automated clinical environments. We are honored to be meeting this global need while creating pathways for programs that support gender and racial diversity in STEM, a vital step to ensure our industry reflects the communities it serves around the world.”
Since receiving Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May 2020 for its Sherlock™ CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit – the first FDA-authorized use of CRISPR technology – The 221b Foundation has continued to increase access to the technology through partnerships around the world.
“Since launching The 221b Foundation, we have continued to advance the platform workflow to provide a high-throughput, low cost and incredibly accurate solution to patients worldwide, while advancing the field of CRISPR diagnostics with innovations building on our discovery of new Cas enzymes to enable fully integrated, real-time multiplex testing,” said William J. Blake, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, Sherlock Biosciences. “Our and our partners’ assays are highly effective at detecting new, highly transmissible COVID-19 variants, making them a powerful solution to this global public health crisis.”
About The 221b Foundation
The 221b Foundation was founded with the dual mission to assist in the eradication of COVID-19, while supporting racial and gender diversity in STEM. By providing support and intellectual property that enables both non-profit and for-profit entities to develop CRISPR-based diagnostic testing, The 221b Foundation seeks to aid in the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic while furthering access and diversity in STEM industries. Led by industry experts in the fields of diagnostic testing, STEM and diversity, The 221b Foundation envisions a world where advances in CRISPR technology fuel the innovations that will put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please visit: 221bfoundation.org.
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.
Katie Engleman, 1AB