Under the program, Mammoth will leverage its robust DETECTR™ platform for CRISPR-based diagnostics to detect emerging biological threats
Brisbane, Calif. – January 14, 2021 — Mammoth Biosciences, Inc. today announced that it has secured a subcontract with MRIGlobal, the prime contractor with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to develop CRISPR-based diagnostics and biosurveillance technologies for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Mammoth’s co-founder and CTO Janice Chen, Ph.D., will lead the team as a Co-Principal Investigator alongside Richard Winegar, Ph.D. and Julie Lucas, Ph.D. from MRIGlobal for the “Detect It with Gene Editing Technologies” (DIGET) program.
“The DIGET program aims to create scalable and rapidly adaptable CRISPR-based diagnostics platforms to protect against future pandemics and biological national security threats,” said Janice Chen. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the lack of rapid and affordable diagnostics and CRISPR is poised to address that unmet need.”
The contract goals are to develop two devices: a handheld, disposable point-of-need (PON) device capable of detecting 10 pathogens at once, as well as a lab-based massively multiplexed detection (MMD) platform capable of screening clinical and environmental samples for more than 1,000 targets simultaneously. Mammoth Biosciences will be the primary subcontractor to MRIGlobal for the PON device and will contribute to the MMD platform along with additional partners.
“This partnership builds on the exciting work Mammoth has done to pioneer the field of CRISPR based diagnostics,” said Mammoth’s CEO and co-founder Trevor Martin, Ph.D. “Working with these expert partners will further accelerate this important and transformative effort.”
Having already accelerated the development of a SARS-CoV-2 test for hand-held disposable and high throughput formats, Mammoth is poised to swiftly begin work on the DIGET program. Since its founding three years ago, the company has built its DETECTR™ platform as a scalable and rapidly adaptable solution to detect new and emerging pathogens, having the potential to save lives and ensure national security.
“We have an incredible team for this research program and value our close partnership with Mammoth Biosciences” said Thomas M. Sack, president and CEO of MRIGlobal. “They demonstrated quick and innovative research and development on their SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and proved that they understand how to execute the difficult task of bringing CRISPR out of the lab and into the real world to help detect novel biological threats.”
Under the DIGET program, MRIGlobal received an initial award for $12.7M with a total potential contract value of up to $36.7M over a four-year period. Other partners of the program include Draper, IDbyDNA, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Toolbox Medical Innovations.
For more information on Mammoth’s CRISPR-based diagnostics platform and technologies, please visit: mammoth.bio/diagnostics/
About Mammoth Biosciences
Mammoth Biosciences is harnessing the diversity of nature to power the next-generation of CRISPR products. Through the discovery and development of novel CRISPR systems, the company is enabling the full potential of its platform to read and write the code of life. By leveraging its internal research and development and exclusive licensing to patents related to Cas12, Cas13, Cas14 and CasΦ, Mammoth Biosciences can provide enhanced diagnostics and genome editing for life science research, healthcare, agriculture, biodefense and more. Based in Brisbane, California, Mammoth Biosciences is co-founded by CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna and Trevor Martin, Janice Chen, and Lucas Harrington. The firm is backed by top institutional investors including Decheng, Mayfield, NFX, and 8VC, and leading individual investors including Brook Byers, Tim Cook, and Jeff Huber.
MRIGlobal addresses some of the world’s greatest threats and challenges. Founded in 1944 as an independent, non-profit organization, we perform contract research for government, industry, and academia. Our customized solutions in national security and defense and health include research and development capabilities in clinical research support, infectious disease and biological threat agent detection, global biological engagement, in vitro diagnostics, and laboratory management and operations. MRIGlobal is one of two partners in the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, which manages and operates the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, for the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information, visit mriglobal.org0