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Sherlock Biosciences Awarded $2M by Gates Foundation for Instrument-Free Diagnostics

Gene Editing Generic

NEW YORK – Sherlock Biosciences announced on Tuesday that it has been awarded $2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance its CRISPR-based instrument-free molecular diagnostics platform.

The funding is in addition to a prior grant of $5 million that the Gates Foundation awarded Sherlock in 2020 to develop a CRISPR-based assay for SARS-CoV-2.

Bryan Dechairo, president and CEO of Sherlock Biosciences, said in a statement that the firm will use the funding to develop chemistries to expand its assay menu. It will also use the funding to integrate all the functions it has developed into a prototype device, which Dechairo called "a critical milestone to making these powerful diagnostic products accessible to people at the point of need."

The resulting platform will have increased specificity and sensitivity for multiplexed detection of multiple infectious disease targets from a single patient sample, the firm said, which for low- and middle-income countries without large, centralized testing facilities, would represent "a powerful addition to global testing capacity."

Sherlock Biosciences recently licensed technology enabling ambient nucleic amplification, which it also intends to incorporate into CRISPR-based diagnostics.

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