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First Point-of-Care Test for COVID-19 using CRISPR announced

Binx Health and Sherlock Biosciences have announced a partnership to develop the world’s first point-of-care diagnostic test for COVID-19 using CRISPR technology.

The companies will combine the Binx io diagnostic platform with SHERLOCKTM CRISPR technology to provide rapid results. The test is designed to give results in a single visit across settings such as clinics, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and other venues directly accessible to consumers.

The Binx io is a molecular platform that has FDA clearance for testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea, but it uses a proprietary detection method with the ability to detect infectious disease targets in bodily fluids.

Jeff Luber, CEO of Binx Health said that they are “pleased to partner with Sherlock Biosciences to help bridge the gap in COVID-19 testing” to help target “the need for highly accurate point-of-care diagnostic testing in CLIA-waived and near-patient settings”.  Adding to this, Luber explains that the proprietary platform will now leverage Sherlock’s CRISPR-based assay combined with Binx’s electrochemical detection for rapid viral detection of SARS-CoV-2 without the need for additional tools. This union will enable healthcare workers to make on-the-spot clinical decisions and help control further infections. 

The CEO of Sherlock Biosciences, Rahul Dhanda, also stressed the importance of being able to make the decisions at the point-of-care, which will enable people to make both clinical decisions and prevent spread within the community.

The current technology uses the SHERLOCK (Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unlocking) method to program a CRISPR molecule to detect a genetic signature of SARS-CoV-2 from patients. The method is intended for use using nasal swabs, nasopharyngeal swabs, oropharyngeal swabs or bronchoalveolar lavage specimens. If the signature is detected the CRISPR enzyme will be activated and release a detectable signal which can provide rapid results within one hour.

This kit is the first CRISPR-based test to receive approval for use by the FDA for qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 DNA.

Image credit: Background photo created by freepik –

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Coronavirus / CRISPR / Diagnostics