PM360 2021 Innovative Startup Sherlock Biosciences

Sherlock Biosciences

Amy Lyons, VP, Marketing

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many challenges related to diagnostics, including their limited effectiveness due to cost, labor, and extensive need for lab equipment and infrastructure. Enter Sherlock Biosciences, a company that launched in March 2019 with a mission to empower people anywhere and everywhere to make informed decisions surrounding their health by harnessing powerful engineering biology tools, including CRISPR and synthetic biology, to dramatically improve upon the last generation of molecular diagnostic tests.

Since launch, the company committed to that goal by breaking ground with the first FDA authorization of CRISPR technology for its SHERLOCK CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit for the rapid detection of the virus that causes COVID-19. Since that milestone, the Sherlock team has extended its innovation outside of COVID-19 to meet the emerging at-home testing demand.

For example, INSPECTR is a synthetic biology-based molecular diagnostics platform that is an instrument-free, handheld test—similar to that of an at-home pregnancy test—for a range of infectious diseases. Developing this affordable, easy-to-use test that can be purchased at a drug or grocery store—or distributed via mobile clinics in underserved communities—will have a profound impact on furthering access, enabling health equity, and igniting the convenience revolution in healthcare.

Beyond development of innovative technology, Sherlock is deploying their engineering biology toolkit in service of world testing needs to further global health equity. Launched in September 2020, the 221b Foundation aids in the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic by enabling access to intellectual property associated with their SHERLOCK CRISPR-based technology. Proceeds from third-party sales of SHERLOCK CRISPR COVID-19 products have supported programs that further health equity and promote racial and gender diversity in STEM.


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