Mammoth Biosciences COVID19 test

Mammoth Biosciences COVID19 test
CRISPR-based COVID-19 test

To detect the presence of Covid-19 in patients Mammoth Biosciences, the SF-based CRISPR diagnostics startup has received first peer-reviewed validation of using its CRISPR-based testing method.

The study shows performance on par with tests that are currently authorized for use by the FDA to test for Covid-19, the existing PCR-based molecular tests.

Mammoth’s DETECTR platform uses CRISPR to target specific genetic sequences and activate a “cleavage” that effectively acts as a signal for the diagnostic equipment to pick up and is designed to have advantages over traditional testing methods in a few different ways, including in its reconfigurability to address new viruses. Mammoth’s diagnostic leads to confirmation that viral RNA is present in the patient by allowing programmable, targeted matching with a reference string similar to the way CRISPR allows scientists to target a specific string of DNA for removal or alteration, with scalpel-like precision.

Since Mammoth’s platform is designed from the ground up for rapid reconfigurability to address new viral threa

ts, the researchers claim that the test they are developing showed validated to use in less than two weeks. The results are relatively easy to interpret as the results delivery is via a “lateral flow strip,” which is essentially the same kind of read-out you see with at-home pregnancy tests, and the results from this test can be delivered in less than 45 minutes. The results can be delivered by conducting the test with portable heat blocks, along with commonly available standard reagents as the DETECTR does not necessarily require a lab setting.

The study included samples from 42 patients who had types of viral respiratory infections and 36 patients having Covid-19 infection. Around 95% positive diagnostic accuracy and 100% negative efficacy was obtained from the test. From respiratory swabs, the samples were taken.

This is a good validation of Mammoth’s model and test design but it does not mean that this test can roll out to actual sites for use now. Eventually, in a clinical setting, the actual deployment of its test could be led in the future.

The study: Nature
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Mammoth Biosciences COVID19 test