CRISPR-Cas has revolutionized the field of gene editing and will also disrupt the field of molecular diagnostics. CRISPR diagnostics (CRISPR-Dx), combined with a pre-amplification step, are faster and easier than (q)PCR, the current golden standard, whilst obtaining results of the same quality. Due to its relative simplicity, CRISPR-Dx present the opportunity to take Dx out of the lab, opening up a range of new markets.
Conventional CRISPR-Dx alternatives, based on Cas12 and Cas13 exist, but can be improved upon. In collaboration with the John van der Oost lab at the Wageningen University we have developed our unique CRISPR-Dx technology.
SB-CRISPR-Dx improves significantly on Cas12 and Cas13 based solutions. Importantly, SB-CRISPR-Dx are performed isothermally, a functionality that CRISPR-Dx alternatives inherently lack, meaning that we reduce the chance of cross-contamination and false results. Moreover, SB-CRISPR-Dx has advantages in target selection and detection speed. We have successfully detected SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) from clinically relevant human samples within 35 minutes at near-single molecule sensitivity, minimizing the false negative rate.
We have patented this IP in June 2019. It differentiates itself from conventional CRISPR-Dx methods through using both a different Cas and visualization method. This IP allows for the development of a diagnostics platform, for which we have already proof of principle results in human, veterinary and food pathogens. We envision that a partnership with a large diagnostic developer can help us to accomplish these goals and bring our technology to the market. Our unique IP position can in return offer a last ticket to developing and marketing CRISPR-Dx. Furthermore, our CRISPR technology platform allows for the development of multiple other revenue streams, both in direct sales and in licensing. We require an expected total investment of 6 million, for which we are expected to break-even in 2026. This investment gives Scope Biosciences a chance to enter and disrupt a multi-billion USD diagnostics market.