Sherlock Biosciences acquires Sense Biodetection to drive CRISPR-based test adoption

Crispr Cas9 Gene Editing Social

Sherlock Biosciences on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Sense Biodetection, an Oxford, U.K.-based developer of a rapid molecular testing platform that does not require an instrument.

The acquisition accelerates its go-to-market strategy, according to Sherlock, which develops CRISPR, synthetic biology, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

Combining Sense's Veros test platform and manufacturing capabilities with Sherlock's technologies could lead to affordable diagnostic testing anytime, anywhere, Sherlock said.

Financial and other terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"This acquisition accelerates Sherlock's ability to put the most advanced CRISPR-based diagnostics conveniently in the hands of global consumers," Bryan Dechairo, president and CEO of Sherlock Biosciences, said in a statement.

He said that Sherlock will combine Sense's chemistry and device engineering with the Massachusetts firm's molecular technologies “to realize our collective vision of democratizing and decentralizing diagnostics."

In March 2022, Sense received the CE Mark for the Veros COVID-19 rapid, instrument-free molecular test. The firm has announced numerous distribution agreements in recent months.

Meanwhile, Sherlock obtained the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization for a COVID-19 CRISPR test in May 2020. It recently announced the receipt of additional funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that will enable it to further develop its CRISPR-based, instrument-free molecular diagnostic testing platform. It also inked a worldwide license agreement with Harvard University's Office of Technology Development for technology that enables the amplification of nucleic acid molecules at ambient temperatures.

Sherlock added that the acquisition enables it to bring accurate handheld tests to global consumers for a range of diseases and conditions, including respiratory and sexual health conditions, and conditions requiring a global response to a health threat or outbreak.

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