A CRISPR-based rapid and sensitive test for COVID-19
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States
Diagnostic technologies for identification of SARS-CoV-2 from human nasal, buccal, or saliva samples
Tech Brief: We recently engineered the fastest reported CRISPR (Nature Communications, 2020), termed ENHANCE, for detecting nucleic acids. By combining ENHANCE with a simple and inexpensive extraction protocol and a pre-amplification step, we detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA down to a single copy of RNA within minutes and achieved high clinical performance.
FIGURES OF MERIT Value Proposition: There is an urgent global need for rapid, inexpensive, point-of-care diagnostics for accurately identifying a SARS-CoV-2 infection at an early stage for halting the COVID-19 pandemic. In the near term, our technology will help curb the pandemic. Our ENHANCE technology offers a general nucleic acid detection platform and can be rapidly adopted for diagnosing a variety of infections and other diseases including cancer and genetic disorders within weeks. Therefore, the long-term scope of technology is extremely broad in the field of diagnostics. Our technology is the fastest reported CRISPR so far, which is perfect for diagnostic applications. The timing cannot be better for licensing/commercialization as we have just finished the clinical validation, ready for the FDA EUA, and soon to be ready for manufacturing and deployment.