16 Minutes News by a16z

CRISPR for Covid Testing and FDA EUAs

Episode Summary

with @jorgecondebio @andy23tran and @smc90 Better and widespread testing is key to re-opening the economy. So we discuss the first authorized use of CRISPR for testing -- diagnostics, not just therapeutics! -- and what the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization means. Where are we when it comes to CRISPR in practice?

Episode Notes

As calls for better, faster, cheaper, portable testing for COVID-19 disease are heard around the world -- given the important role of test-trace-isolate in re-opening the economy! -- the FDA recently issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a CRISPR-based diagnostic.

It's the first authorized use of CRISPR technology for an infectious disease test. So we discuss this topic in this week's episode of 16 Minutes -- our show where we cover the news headlines, tease apart what's hype/what's real from our vantage point in tech, and share where we are on the overall arc of various trends -- covering:

...with a16z general partner Jorge Conde and bio deal team partner Andy Tran, in conversation with Sonal Chokshi.

On 16 Minutes, we also offer frameworks for thinking about the topics covered, so we also discuss: the tradeoffs between specificity and sensitivity when it comes to testing, especially when there's a big difference in false positives in testing for the disease vs. testing for antibodies; the tradeoffs between decentralized vs. centralized testing (getting the sample to the test or getting the test to the sample), especially given the potential for pregnancy-kit like tests here; and the tradeoffs between specific, scalable, and sensible testing ...Is it possible to have it all when it comes to CRISPR??