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Sherlock Biosciences Foundation Grants License to Rokline Health for COVID-19 CRISPR Tests

NEW YORK ─ The 221b Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Sherlock Biosciences, said on Tuesday that it has granted a license to Rokline Health Concepts to develop and manufacture COVID-19 diagnostic tests using Sherlock Bio’s CRISPR technology.

The agreement aims to broaden access to the test in the US and provide capacity for thousands of results per day, Sherlock Bio said.

The company said its Sherlock diagnostic platform achieves single-molecule detection of nucleic acid targets using CRISPR activity for amplicon detection, and can be adapted for use with current diagnostic instruments. When a specific sequence of DNA or RNA is present, a CRISPR enzyme is activated and starts cutting nearby genetic material, releasing a fluorescent signal that indicates a positive result.

Herbert Fritsche, cofounder of Rokline Health, said in a statement that the ability to automate Sherlock Bio's assay for high-throughput use "is incredibly valuable."

Houston-based Rokline Health develops diagnostic tests for the early detection of disease. Its diagnostic tests will be commercialized using its CLIA-certified laboratories and manufactured for worldwide distribution, Sherlock Bio said.

Last week the 221b Foundation said it had 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.

Boston-based Sherlock Bio received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for its Sherlock CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit in May 2020.