25 May 2020 | News
Funding to Accelerate Development of INSPECTR™ Rapid Diagnostic Platform to Improve Testing in At-home and Low-resource Settings
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US based Sherlock Biosciences, an engineering biology company dedicated to making diagnostic testing better, faster and more affordable, has announced that Open Philanthropy is advancing $7.5 million in grant funding to launch the Sherlock Innovation Lab and accelerate the development of Sherlock’s at-home COVID-19 diagnostic utilizing its INSPECTR™ platform.
In 2019, Open Philanthropy awarded Sherlock a $17.5 million non-dilutive grant to develop its SHERLOCK™ platform for use at home, hospitals and in the field. As part of that grant, and with the onset of the global pandemic, this advance from Open Philanthropy will also support the development of INSPECTR to meet the need for increased testing capacity worldwide.
Leveraging the power of Synthetic Biology, Sherlock’s INSPECTR (Internal Splint-Pairing Expression Cassette Translation Reaction) platform enables the creation of an instrument-free, handheld diagnostic test – similar to that of an at-home pregnancy test – that can be applied across multiple diseases and in a variety of settings. With the launch of the Sherlock Innovation Lab in Cambridge, the company is currently hiring industry and academic experts in synthetic biology to focus exclusively on scaling INSPECTR for at-home and low-resource environments.
Numerous non-profit organizations are participating in the effort to deploy talent, including MassBio, MassMEDIC and Gloucester Biotechnology Academy. By tapping into the vast expertise of their membership and broader network, Sherlock aims to immediately bring 10-15 molecular diagnostic experts into its second facility to focus on the development of the company’s INSPECTR-based COVID-19 solution.