Sherlock Biosciences is a synthetic biology company offering a medical diagnostics and engineering biology platform that is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was founded in 2019 by Feng Zhang, Jim Collins, David R. Walt, Rahul K. Dhanda, Omar Abudayyeh, Todd Golub, Jonathan Gootenberg, Deborah Hung, and Pardis Sabeti.
SHERLOCK (Specific High sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing or INternal Splint-Pairing Expression Cassette Translation Reaction) is a CRISPR based technology for detecting unique genetic sequences of any DNA or RNA sequence from any organism or pathogen. SHERLOCK is made for the detection of single molecules part of nucleic acids targets by amplifying genetic sequences and programming CRISP to detect specific genetic sequences within each amplified sample, releasing a signal when a certain genetic sequence is detected.
INSPECTR (Internal Splint-Pairing Expression Cassette Translation Reaction) is a synthetic biology platform that uses freeze-dried synthetically made gene networks as programmable molecular diagnostic devices. INSPECTR can be programmed to find targets differing by a single nucleotide without the need for scientific instruments and at room temperature. When INSPECTR finds a desired nucleic acid target is produces a reporter protein which can be detected as a diagnostic readout.
Sherlock Biosciences is developing a CRISPR-based diagnostic test for coronavirus after the outbreak of a new coronavirus strain, SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV) that was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). The coronavirus strain has more recently been renamed SARS-CoV-2 with the disease called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease).
On April 23, 2019 Sherlock Biosciences completed their series A funding round with $49 million in funding from Northpond Ventures (lead investor), Baidu Ventures (lead investor), the Open Philanthropy Project, and other investors. the co-founder, president, and CEO of Sherlock Biosciences gave the following statement to reporters regarding the companies series A funding round:
Their support will be vital as we work to harness and direct the power of our SHERLOCK and INSPECTR platforms to develop rapid and more effective diagnostic tests through Engineering Biology and Deep Learning tools that can be performed anywhere, such as testing in the field or home.