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Mammoth Biosciences’ CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Platform Becomes First CRISPR-Based Initiative to Be Funded by NIH

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 Aug 2020
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Image: Mammoth’s CRISPR-based Covid test (Photo courtesy of Mammoth Biosciences)
Image: Mammoth’s CRISPR-based Covid test (Photo courtesy of Mammoth Biosciences)
Mammoth Biosciences (San Francisco, CA, USA) has received a contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of its USD 1.5 billion Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program, making it the first CRISPR based initiative to be funded by the program.

The award will help scale Mammoth’s CRISPR-based DETECTR test onto high-throughput automated platforms in commercial labs for COVID-19 diagnostics at an accelerated rate, increasing access to accurate tests with faster turnaround across the US. Mammoth’s SARS-CoV-2 DETECTRTM assay uses CRISPR technology, which provides a simpler workflow and significantly faster turnaround time compared to conventional PCR methods.

With a USD 1.5 billion investment from federal stimulus funding, the RADx initiative infuses funding into early innovative technologies to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Tech (RADx Tech) program specifically aims to support the development and commercialization of innovative technologies to significantly increase the US testing capacity for SARS-CoV-2. With the support of the RADx program, Mammoth will scale the manufacturing of its proprietary DETECTR platform to provide a high-throughput, sample-to-answer turnkey solution for commercial laboratories to enable a multi-fold increase in testing capacity.

“CRISPR has the potential to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic and relieve the testing shortage,” said Trevor Martin, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Mammoth Biosciences. “We are honored to receive this support for our CRISPR-based platform to bring high-throughput, accurate testing to more people, at a time when it’s needed most.”

“This is an exciting milestone,” said Bruce Tromberg, Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and leader of RADx Tech, one of four components of the NIH RADx initiative. “It will help increase US testing capacity exponentially. Game-changing technologies emerging from our RADx pipeline will inform public health measures to stop the spread of the virus and leave us better equipped to address future pathogens and other diseases.”

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