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Cepheid and Sherlock Biosciences Establish Collaboration on New GeneXpert Tests for Infectious Diseases Leveraging CRISPR Technology

Cepheid and Sherlock Biosciences today announced a research collaboration between the two companies to explore the development of new cutting-edge molecular diagnostic tests. Leveraging Sherlock Biosciences' engineering biology platform, SHERLOCK™, a CRISPR-based technology that can identify virtually any genetic target, new tests could be designed to run on Cepheid's GeneXpert® Systems. The collaboration will focus on molecular diagnostic tests for infectious diseases and oncology, beginning with a proof-of-concept project focused on detection of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

"This partnership will allow us to explore utilizing Cepheid's easy-to use-cartridge to further develop targeted molecular tests that better address outbreak scenarios," said David H. Persing, M.D., Ph.D., Cepheid's Chief Medical and Technology Officer. "With a global installed base of over 23,000 GeneXpert Systems, this technology could potentially be applied in multiple settings where actionable treatment information is needed quickly."

The companies plan to jointly pursue grant opportunities to further push development of newer molecular diagnostic tests to allow future GeneXpert users access to expanded test menu and capabilities. The companies may pursue opportunities in infectious diseases and oncology, including exploring how better to address outbreak scenarios.

"SHERLOCK is an ideal platform for rapid response and development for any global outbreak, while also a powerful tool for affordable and rapid molecular diagnostic testing for routine assays," said Rahul Dhanda, Sherlock's Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are excited to work on bringing our breakthrough CRISPR technology to Cepheid's revolutionary GeneXpert platform, which should enable our companies to provide potential diagnostic solutions for a range of applications including infectious diseases and oncology. Initially, we will explore the compatibility of our technologies for coronavirus detection, while pursuing a broad set of solutions that enable users to make more effective decisions in both clinical and non-clinical settings worldwide."

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