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Cepheid, Sherlock Biosciences Partner on SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Test

NEW YORK – Cepheid and Sherlock Biosciences said on Friday that they have formed a research collaboration to develop new molecular diagnostic tests, using Sherlock Biosciences' CRISPR-based engineering biology platform SHERLOCK to design tests to run on Cepheid's GeneXpert systems.

The collaboration will focus on molecular diagnostic tests for infectious diseases and oncology, beginning with a proof-of-concept project focused on the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Sherlock Biosciences CEO Rahul Dhanda recently told GenomeWeb that the company is working on developing the first CRISPR-based SARS-CoV-2 test and is in talks with a variety of possible partners in the US and China to deploy it at a large scale.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This partnership will allow us to explore utilizing Cepheid's easy-to-use cartridge to further develop targeted molecular tests that better address outbreak scenarios," Cepheid Chief Medical and Technology Officer David Persing said in a statement. "With a global installed base of over 23,000 GeneXpert Systems, this technology could potentially be applied in multiple settings where actionable treatment information is needed quickly."