Sherlock Biosciences has raised $80m through a Series B financing round to develop CRISPR-based diagnostics.

This round was led by Novalis LifeSciences and included new investors Illumina Ventures, Albany Capital and Catalio Capital Management, among others.

The round also saw participation from Northpond Ventures, Good Ventures, and other existing investors.

With this round, the company has so far raised $111m.

Sherlock Biosciences president and CEO Bryan Dechairo said: “Sherlock is dedicated to breaking down diagnostic barriers and bringing health information to people around the world.

“Our novel chemistries combine the accuracy of PCR with the simplicity and convenience of antigen tests, powering a decentralized diagnostic platform for DNA and RNA detection. We are grateful to our funding partners for supporting our mission to ignite a convenience revolution in healthcare and further global public health.”

The Massachusetts-based company’s engineering biology tools, powered by CRISPR and synthetic biology, form the basis of its diagnostic platform for DNA and RNA detection.

With this new funding, the company will be able to expand the use of its CRISPR platform into a commercial phase, tap labs the world over with its technologies, focus on the development of new products and build partnerships.

Novalis LifeSciences partner Paul Meister said: “The pandemic undoubtedly shone a light on long-existing challenges in our healthcare system, from inaccessibility to inconvenience and concerns around privacy.

“Diagnostic testing is ripe for disruption and we believe Sherlock is uniquely suited to shift the testing paradigm across a range of applications with unmatched accuracy and speed. Sherlock’s dominant IP position, innovative science and visionary leadership team makes it well-positioned to decentralize and democratize the at-home diagnostics market.”

Meister will join Sherlock Biosciences’ board of directors.

Sherlock Biosciences stated that its CRISPR-based SHERLOCK and synthetic biology-based INSPECTR can be used in any setting without the need for complex instrumentation, which in turn provides a range of potential applications in areas including infectious disease, early detection of cancer, treatment monitoring, and precision medicine.

In 2020, the company is claimed to be the first to receive FDA authorisation for use of CRISPR-based Covid-19 test.