Policy & Regulation
Sherlock Biosciences Forges Research Collaboration with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health to Launch Study of CRISPR-based Test for SARS-CoV-2
12 August 2020 - - US-based engineering biology company Sherlock Biosciences has forged a research collaboration with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health to launch a clinical study of the Sherlock CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit for the detection of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the company said.

The kit, for which Sherlock Biosciences recently received Emergency Use Authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration, will be used to test clinical samples from patients from D-HH member hospitals.
The Sherlock CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 test kit is designed for use in laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988, 42 USC. §263a, to perform high complexity tests.

Based on the SHERLOCK method, which stands for Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing, the kit works by programming a CRISPR nuclease to detect the presence of a specific genetic signature in this case, the genetic signature for SARS-CoV-2 in a nasal swab, nasopharyngeal swab, oropharyngeal swab or bronchoalveolar lavage specimen.

When the signature is found, the CRISPR enzyme is activated and cuts reporter RNAs provided as part of the kit to release a detectable signal, yielding results in about an hour.

It is the first and only CRISPR-based diagnostic test to receive EUA from the FDA for qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health is New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer. It serves a population of 1.9m across Northern New England.