CRISPR tech startup Mammoth Bioscience is among the companies that pledged support for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnosis (RADx) program on Friday. Mammoth has been awarded a contract to expand the CRISPR-based SARS-CoV-3 diagnostic test to help address the shortage of tests in the United States.
Mammoth’s CRISPR-based approach has the potential to offer a significant solution to existing testing bottlenecks because it is a very different type of testing from existing PCR-based methods. The launch has also enlisted the support of pharmaceutical giant GSK to develop and manufacture a new COVID-19 testing solutionIt will be a portable, one-off test that can offer results in just 20 minutes on site.
While this test is still under development, RADx funding from this funding will be used to scale the production of DETECTR’s platform for distribution and use in commercial lab environments. This will continue to provide “a multiple increase in testing capacity,” the company says, even though this is a laboratory solution and not a point of care test like the one it is trying to create with GSK.
Already, UCSF has received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA to use the DETECTR reagent set to test for SARS-CoV-2, and the launch hopes it can expand similar testing capabilities to other laboratories across the US