CAMBRIDGE, England -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Horizon Discovery (Horizon), a leading provider of research tools to support translational genomics research and the development of personalized medicines, today announced it has entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with Harvard University to access intellectual property related to the commercialization of CRISPR gene editing technology for research use.
By adding CRISPR to its GENESIS™ precision gene-editing platform, Horizon can now offer researchers an unrivalled toolbox capable of performing rapid functional genomics experiments, as well as creation of high-precision human disease models for deployment at all stages of drug discovery and diagnostic development. Horizon will employ all three genome editing technologies for custom client-led projects, as well as to expand on its own menu of over 500 genetically-defined off-the-shelf cell lines and related products. In addition, the company will soon launch a range of rAAV, CRISPR and hybrid rAAV/CRISPR gene-editing kits and associated reagents, supported by Horizon’s technical team with expertise in all gene editing platforms and their application in translational research.
“Horizon’s scientists now have the freedom to choose the best technology, or combination of technologies, to most effectively achieve the specific goals for each customer project,” commented Dr. Darrin Disley, CEO of Horizon. “The landscape for CRISPR IP is in a settling phase, and by licensing key IP such as this from Harvard as well as complementary IP from other organizations, Horizon is ensuring that we continue to be able to offer our customers a best-in-class solution for their research needs.”
CRISPR is an RNA-guided gene editing system which gained notoriety in late 2012 through the simultaneous publication of several seminal articles describing its ability to introduce either a targeted double strand break or single strand nick in the genome of mammalian cells.
“The introduction of a nick rather than a full double strand break offers advantages over other nuclease technologies when the goal of the project is to introduce a specific mutation rather than simply disrupting the gene,” said Eric Rhodes, CTO, Horizon Discovery. “By combining both CRISPR and ZFNs with our proprietary rAAV technology, Horizon is working to develop novel approaches that achieve levels of gene editing efficiency not previously seen when using a single approach alone.”
The intellectual property licensed from Harvard Office of Technology Development relates to inventions originating from the lab of Dr. George Church at Harvard Medical School and inventions originating at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard. Financial terms were not disclosed. Horizon continues to review the gene editing field for further IP licensing opportunities.
About Horizon Discovery www.horizondiscovery.com/
Horizon Discovery Limited (Horizon) is a leading provider of research tools to support translational genomics research and the development of personalized medicines. Using GENESISTM, Horizon is able to alter any endogenous gene sequence of a human or mammalian cell-line quickly, reliably and without introducing unwanted and confounding genotypes and/or phenotypes.
Horizon has applied GENESIS to create over 500 X-MAN™ cell lines, the world’s first source of genetically-defined and patient-relevant human cell lines, accurately modeling the disease-causing mutations found in cancer patients. These ‘patients-in-a-test-tube’ are being used by academic and industry leaders to identify the effect of individual or compound genetic mutations on drug activity, patient responsiveness, and resistance, leading to the successful prediction of which patient sub-groups will respond to currently-available and future drug treatments. This enables the design of shorter, more focused, and less expensive clinical trials, ultimately providing the tools to identify the ‘right drugs’ for the ‘right patients’ based upon the unique genetic mutations that define their disease.
In addition to X-MAN cell lines, Horizon provides GENESIS and X-MAN™ derived products and services, with industrial application in: bio-pharmaceutical process optimization; clinical diagnostic development; drug discovery & development; and the provision of reference standards for genomic-based clinical research platforms.
GENESIS and X-MAN are registered trademarks of Horizon Discovery Limited.