Sherlock Biosciences (“Sherlock”), an Engineering Biology company dedicated to making diagnostic testing better, faster and more affordable, and Mologic Ltd, a leading developer of lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies, today announced a new collaboration to revolutionize molecular diagnostic testing in low-resource settings and within the home. The work is being facilitated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through an expansion of an existing grant to Mologic. Through the partnership, Mologic will expand its presence in Cambridge, Mass., as part of a joint development center that will be built within Sherlock’s lab space. The companies will combine Sherlock’s core synthetic biology platform with Mologic’s advanced lateral flow expertise to develop simple, sophisticated molecular diagnostics for use at the point of need.
Supporting endeavors to create a new field of molecular diagnostics and facilitate more targeted therapies, the funding from the Gates Foundation will bolster efforts to leverage Sherlock’s synthetic biology-based INSPECTR™ platform and Mologic’s core immunoassay platforms—ELTABA for enzyme activity detection, and CARD, the high sensitivity lateral flow technology developed at Mologic’s Centre for Advanced Rapid Diagnostics. This work will advance affordable, universal detection platforms that will detect DNA or RNA targets in virtually any decentralized site, including low-resource settings and home-based testing. Mologic established its CARD platform with prior funding and support from the Gates Foundation.
This collaboration will enable Mologic to expand its presence in the U.S., where it has already established a New England subsidiary. By building out a joint development space with equipment and staff, Mologic will establish full immunoassay research and development capabilities and enhance its ability to provide service and support to its U.S.-based partners.
“Our INSPECTR platform was designed to be the very first low-cost, rapid, instrument-free molecular diagnostic system to truly address diagnostic needs where solutions do not exist today, especially in low-resource and home settings,” said Rahul K. Dhanda, Sherlock’s Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This program will enable us to build on the power of our INSPECTR platform to create diagnostic tools that provide accurate and affordable results in virtually any setting, while working with Mologic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop lateral flow technology to improve global health.”
“We believe there is a unique and powerful synergy between Mologic and Sherlock, and we are delighted to have the Gates Foundation support our efforts to combine our first- and best-in-class technology platforms for nucleic acid sensing, super-antibody engineering, ultra-sensitive lateral flow assays, and enzyme activity detection,” said Mark Davis, Mologic’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder. “By leveraging both companies’ core technologies, we believe we can create extremely sensitive diagnostic tests that produce results with unprecedented speed, without requiring instrumentation, thermal amplification or electricity.”