By CBJ News Staff
Coralville-based Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) has announced a new strategic collaboration with Sherlock Biosciences of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to enable large-scale manufacturing of the Sherlock CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit for detection of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The test kit, for which Sherlock Biosciences recently received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will assist in managing the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing testing capacity and decreasing result time.
The Sherlock kit is the first CRISPR-based diagnostic test to receive EUA for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The kit provides specific and sensitive detection of the virus in patient samples, and it requires no specialized instruments to complete a test. Using standard laboratory equipment gives it a minimal footprint and contributes to a turnaround time of approximately one hour, significantly faster than other testing methods.
IDT is supporting the manufacturing of the kit by supplying several key components, including the Cas13a enzyme on which the test is based, as well as CRISPR RNA (crRNA) and primer mix. IDT’s product quality, speed, and ability to scale were key factors in helping to bring the Sherlock kit to market.
“Given the severity and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to increase and improve upon existing diagnostic solutions,” said Rahul Dhanda, co-founder, president and CEO of Sherlock Biosciences in a release today. “We are pleased to partner with IDT, a leading comprehensive genomics solution provider. They have already been leading the charge in large-scale manufacturing of key components for the CDC EUA testing protocol to meet the demands of this global pandemic, and this is another avenue in which they are supporting testing needs.”
Officials said the strategic partnership would allow scaled production as needed to satisfy demand for increased testing volumes, allowing laboratory technicians to run tests at a faster pace with quicker results.
“Sherlock has developed a unique methodology for quick and specific detection of SARS-CoV-2, and IDT is proud to leverage our high-quality products to support this groundbreaking testing method,” said Trey Martin, president of IDT. “We look forward to working closely with Sherlock to scale the production of its CRISPR test kit to meet demand in response to this global pandemic.” CBJ