NEW YORK – Sherlock Biosciences said on Monday that it has licensed a nucleic acid amplification technology that functions at ambient temperatures from Harvard's Wyss Institute. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The exclusive worldwide license covers technology developed at Wyss in the lab of James Collins, developer of Sherlock's CRISPR-based core technology and a cofounder of the company.
Sherlock plans to combine the method with its CRISPR platform to develop instrument-free diagnostic tests to detect pathogen or disease-related nucleic acids at the point of need.
"The highly stable enzyme-based, multi-component nucleic acid amplification method coming out of Collins' Wyss lab will be a pivotal piece of our technology platform," said Bryan Dechairo, Sherlock's president and CEO, in a statement.
The Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unlocking, or SHERLOCK, technology detects target RNA or DNA molecules with high sensitivity and specificity, and without strict temperature requirements. "By integrating it with this next-generation amplification technology, we will be able to perform the entire detection-amplification-visualization process at ambient temperatures and, importantly, instrument-free," Dechairo added.
Sherlock Biosciences was founded in 2019 to build low-cost, portable diagnostic tests addressing critical unmet needs for patients at home and in low-resource settings using CRISPR and other technologies. Sherlock and the Collins lab have previously collaborated on point-of-care molecular malaria assays.