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Sherlock Bio Foundation Licenses CRISPR Tech to LogicInk

NEW YORK – The 221b Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Sherlock Biosciences, said on Monday that it has granted lifestyle sensor company LogicInk a license to utilize Sherlock Bio's CRISPR technology to develop an instrument-free diagnostic biosensor for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.

Sherlock Bio established the foundation to assist in the eradication of COVID-19 and to support racial and gender diversity in STEM, in part by licensing intellectual property that enables both nonprofit and for-profit entities to develop CRISPR-based diagnostic testing. The foundation provides licenses to Sherlock's foundational SHERLOCK, or Specific High Sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing technology, which can achieve single-molecule detection of nucleic acid targets. The platform uses CRISPR for amplicon detection and can be adapted for use with existing diagnostic instruments.

Combining this technology with LogicInk's DNA nanotechnology platform may enable self-screening for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA through the identification of an appropriate color combination, the companies said. LogicInk's solution can be mass-produced and does not require instrumentation, and the sensitivity of the test is designed to be comparable to the benchmark standard solutions without requiring the use of a central lab, they added.

"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," Carlos Olguin, LogicInk's founder and CEO, said in a statement. "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."

Last month, the 221b Foundation granted Cooper International and United PPE licenses to develop and manufacture COVID-19 diagnostic tests using Sherlock Bio's CRISPR technology. The company received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for its own Sherlock CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit in May 2020.