Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Cooper Pharma on its granted license with United PPE to develop and manufacture COVID-19 diagnostic tests using Sherlock’s CRISPR technology. The contract has been granted under The 221b Foundation, a non-profit organisation established by Sherlock Biosciences to address the global COVID-19 pandemic while promoting diverse representation in STEM.
CRISPR technology called SHERLOCK and the diagnostic platform can achieve single molecule detection of nucleic acid targets. SHERLOCK utilises CRISPR activity for “smart amplicon detection” and can be adapted for use with existing diagnostic instruments, improving time to result due to its significant multiplexing capacity.
When a specific sequence of DNA or RNA is present, a CRISPR enzyme is activated and, much like a pair of scissors, starts cutting nearby genetic material, releasing a fluorescent signal that indicates a positive result.
Morocco-based Cooper Pharma is a leading laboratory of the national pharmaceutical industry, which has supported health professionals and aims to increase access to medicines.
Adjou Ait Ben Idir, Dubai-based corporate partner who led on the deal, commented: “This contract will enable increased access to COVID-19 testing in Asia and the Middle East. The design will be able to cover new and emerging variants, which remains of the upmost importance as we navigate through the pandemic.”
The Norton Rose Fulbright Dubai team also included senior associate Zaid Al-Rizzo and counsel Jonathan Burton.