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LogicInk and The 221b Foundation to Develop Covid-19 Instrument-free Diagnosis

The 221b Foundation and LogicInk have agreed to collaborate on developing an instrument-free diagnostic biosensor for Covid-19 virus detection using Sherlock Biosciences’ CRISPR technology. Sherlock Biosciences founded the 221b Foundation as a non-profit organisation to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sherlock’s CRISPR diagnostic technology will be paired with  LogicInk DNA nanotechnology platform as part of the partnership. This could lead to the discovery of a suitable colour combination for easy Covid-19 self-administration and screening. According to Sherlock Biosciences, LogicInk solution is economically and logistically feasible for Covid-19 mass testing because it can be manufactured in bulk and requires no instrumentation.

The new saliva-based non-invasive test is expected to have comparable sensitivity to standard solutions but would not need a central lab or professional users to perform. Carlos Olguin, CEO and Founder of  LogicInk, said, “There is tremendous financial and logistical need for an easy-to-use test that does not require any testing cartridges or other complex devices to support large-scale, decentralised testing for Covid-19. Last year, the Sherlock team made history with the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorisation of CRISPR”

Sherlock detects smart amplicons using CRISPR activity. Because of its significant multiplexing capability, it can be adjusted for use with current diagnostic devices to improve time to result. When a particular DNA or RNA sequence is detected, the CRISPR enzyme is activated, and it cuts neighbouring genetic material, emitting a fluorescent signal that indicates a positive result.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded Sherlock Biosciences a $5 million grant in December to help advance the creation of its instrument-free, synthetic biology-based molecular diagnostics platform for Covid-19.

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