Sherlock Biosciences, a company engineering biology to bring new diagnostics solutions to the point-of-need, signed a licensing agreement with Shanghai-based Tolo Biotech, which grants co-exclusive rights to Cas12 and Cas13 CRISPR diagnostic methods in markets outside of the U.S. and Greater China.

With rights to the Cas12 and Cas13 method patents in the diagnostics market, this agreement furthers Sherlock and Tolo’s collaboration and provides the partners with rights to a comprehensive portfolio of diagnostic CRISPR patents.

In 2020, Tolo granted Sherlock exclusive rights in the U.S. to its CRISPR Cas12 (including Cas12a and Cas12b) diagnostic technology, and Sherlock granted Tolo exclusive rights to the CRISPR Cas13 SHERLOCK diagnostic platform in Greater China. This latest news further extends the collaboration and global IP portfolio for the companies.

“We are very pleased to be expanding our collaboration with Tolo through this licensing agreement,” says Bryan Dechairo, president and CEO of Sherlock Biosciences. “What began as a license agreement for the U.S. and Greater China has now grown to cover the rest of the world, ensuring we can advance the development and adoption of these powerful technologies globally, further securing our position as the global leader in CRISPR diagnostics.”

Through this licensing agreement the companies can also sublicense rights for laboratory and hospital markets, enabling global partnerships that can further drive development and commercialization of CRISPR-based assays on new and more affordable diagnostic platforms worldwide.

The Cas12 and Cas13 families of enzymes are highly programmable and exhibit strong collateral activities that make them uniquely suited for the specific DNA and RNA molecular detection of pathogens and single nucleotide polymorphisms. When combined with existing or novel isothermal amplification methods, they achieve the highest levels of sensitivity with the fastest time to result, without requiring sophisticated instrumentation.

“CRISPR holds tremendous promise in driving the future of molecular diagnostics and we are very glad to be partnering with Sherlock to bring this technology to the world,” says Jin Wang, co-founder and CEO of Tolo Biotech. “By joining forces, we can not only advance the development of powerful CRISPR-based diagnostics, but we can also drive the manufacturing and distribution of these products outside of the U.S. and Greater China where they are greatly needed to improve global health equity.”