Sherlock Bio Raises $80 Million to Develop CRISPR-based Diagnostics

Sherlock Biosciences said on Tuesday it had raised $80 million in new funding to help bolster sales of its CRISPR-based COVID-19 test and develop new diagnostics based on the breakthrough gene editing technology.

The latest round for Sherlock, which was the first to gain authorization for a CRISPR-based COVID-19 test in 2020, was led by Novalis Lifesciences, bringing the total capital raised to $111 million.

The Massachusetts-based company said that the new funding will help expand the use of its CRISPR-platform into a commercial phase and help reach out to testing labs across the world as well as aid in the development of new products.

New investors in the funding round included Illumina Ventures, Albany Capital and Catalio Capital Management.

“What you’re going to see in the short term is a lot of partnerships that put our chemistry into the clinic rapidly and then over the long term, you’re going to see a whole host of indications on our platform being brought to commercialization globally,” Chief Executive Officer Bryan Dechairo said in an interview.

The company has an exclusive licensing agreement for CRISPR with the Broad Institute, which recently won a patent dispute related to the gene-editing technology.

Sherlock’s products compete for market share with Mammoth Biosciences, co-founded by Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna, which recently achieved a valuation of $1 billion.