Horizon Discovery Announces Strategic Partnership with Promega to Develop Next-Generation Predictive Human Disease Models

05:42 EST 7 Nov 2011 | BioPortfolio

Partnership to combine Horizon’s genome editing technology with Promega’s reporter technologies to enable personalized drug development

Cambridge, UK, 07 November 2011: Horizon Discovery Ltd. (Horizon), a leading provider of research tools to support the development of personalized medicines, announces a strategic partnership agreement with Promega Corporation, the leader in innovative life science research technologies. The partnership centers on the delivery of endogenous gene reporting capabilities, in the form of Promega’s luciferase and HaloTag® reporter technologies, using Horizon’s proprietary homologous recombination-based precision genome editing technology (rAAV GENESIS™).

The scientific objective of the partnership is to develop next-generation predictive human disease models, recapitulating genetic mutations exactly as they occur in patient tumors, thereby enabling the elucidation of protein expression and protein-protein interactions encoded by those mutations. To date, Horizon has applied its rAAV gene-editing platform to reconstitute over 370 cancer mutations and variations in human cell lines that serve as patient-relevant, predictive in vitro models of genetic disease.

Additional objective(s) will be to enable the study of tumor response to anti-cancer treatments in real-time, by offering in vivo xenografts of Horizon’s tumorigenic engineered isogenic cell lines with incorporated Promega reporter tags. Preliminary studies have revealed exceptionally clear images of tumor graft response to targeted molecular therapies. This capability adds to drug discovery scientists’ existing toolbox of patient relevant models to support the development of a greater number of more efficacious anti-cancer drugs.

Dr. Paul Morrill, Commercial Director, Horizon Discovery, said: “I am pleased to announce this long term collaboration that will enable further elucidation of genetic drivers of disease, and subsequent development of a new toolbox of targeted therapies. For the first time, investigators will be able to directly trace the relationship between protein expression, the interaction of that target protein within its molecular pathway, and how it is encoded by the genome.”

Tom Livelli, Vice President Life Sciences Products and Services, Promega Corporation, commented: “We are looking forward to working with Horizon, and we believe the combination of technologies will lead to the development of invaluable resources in the investigation of genetic disease, and the development of new, targeted therapies.”


Notes to Editors

For more information please contact:

At Horizon:
Dr Paul R Morrill
Commercial Director, Horizon Discovery
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 655 580

At Promega:
Penny Patterson
Director, Corporate Affairs
Promega Corporation
Tel: +1 (608) 274-4330

Media enquiries:
Katie Odgaard
Zyme Communications Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947

About Horizon Discovery

Horizon Discovery is a leading provider of research tools to support the development of personalized medicines. The Company’s proprietary virally-mediated precision gene engineering technology, GENESIS, enables any endogenous gene in a human cell line to be altered quickly, reliably and without introducing unwanted and confounding genotypes and/or phenotypes. Using GENESIS, Horizon Discovery has developed X-MAN (gene-X; Mutant And Normal) cell models, which are the world’s first source of genetically-defined and patient-relevant human cell lines.

The Company’s broad panel of over 350 different X-MAN cell lines, which have been referred to as “patients-in-a-test-tube,” accurately model the disease-causing mutations in cancer patients. The X-MAN cell lines are being used by academic and industry leaders to identify the effect of individual mutations on drug activity, patient responsiveness and resistance, and to successfully predict which patient sub-groups will respond to currently available, and future drug treatments. This supports the design of shorter, more focused clinical trials, making it possible to identify the ‘right drugs’ for the ‘right patients’ based upon the unique genetic mutations that define their disease.

Founded by Dr. Chris Torrance and Professor Alberto Bardelli, and with headquarters in Cambridge, UK, the company builds on a long heritage in precision gene engineering, cancer research and translational medicine. Horizon’s GENESIS technology has won numerous awards, and there are currently more than 400 scientific papers published relating to the use of GENESIS technology and X-MAN cell line pairs.

GENESIS and X-MAN are both registered trademarks of Horizon Discovery Limited.

About Promega Corporation

Promega Corporation is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company's 2,000 products enable scientists worldwide to advance their knowledge in genomics, proteomics, cellular analysis, molecular diagnostics and human identification. Founded in 1978, the company is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA, with branches in 15 countries and over 50 global distributors. For more information about Promega, visit:

HaloTag is a registered trademark of Promega Corporation.


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