Cambridge, UK, 25 March 2015: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE:HZD) (Horizon), the international life science company supplying research tools and services that power genomics research and the development of personalized medicines, announced today that a consortium led by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) on behalf of UCB Celltech and Lonza Biologics and including Horizon as a full partner, have been awarded £6.2 million as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).
The AMSCI program consists of an approximate total £11.3M of costs with approximately £6.2 million in grant funding being delivered by the UK Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Innovate UK and Birmingham City Council, to support the future needs of biologics manufacturing in the UK. Horizon will receive up to £652,000 which will be used to expand research performed in its Bioproduction business.
This initiative will support the future needs of biologics manufacturing and will help develop next-generation production systems so that the most efficacious and cost-effective therapies are made available to patients.
Horizon will use its gene editing and screening expertise to develop a high throughput platform designed to accelerate the development of novel and improved Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell lines. Horizon will introduce specific genetic changes into these CHO cell lines, allowing better decisions to be made on potential performance improvements for biologic drug manufacturing.
Dr Darrin M. Disley, Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Discovery Group commented:“To be part of this AMSCI initiative and to be recognized by the Government with this grant is an endorsement of our leading capabilities in gene editing and we are grateful for this opportunity.”
Dr Paul Morrill, President, Products, Horizon Discovery Group, added: “Horizon, along with UCB and the other consortium partners, recognizes the importance of strengthening the biomanufacturing supply chain in order to deliver the next generation of biological medicines. Enhancing cell line function through gene editing is a critical path activity towards this outcome. This initiative, alongside the recent Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst funding, further reinforces Horizon’s reputation as a driver of innovation for biomanufacturing.”
Notes to Editors
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About Horizon Discovery Group plc www.horizondiscovery.com/
Horizon is a revenue-generating life science company supplying research tools to organizations engaged in genomics research and the development of personalized medicines. Horizon has a diverse and international customer base of over 1,000 organizations across nearly 50 countries, including major pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic companies as well as leading academic research centers. The Company supplies its products and services into multiple markets, estimated to total in excess of £29 billion by 2015.
Horizon’s core capabilities are built around its proprietary translational genomics platform, a high-precision and flexible suite of gene editing tools able to alter almost any endogenous gene sequence of human or mammalian cell-lines. Horizon offers almost 14,000 products, almost all of which are based on the application of gene editing to generate cell lines that accurately model the disease-causing mutations found in genetically based diseases. These ‘patients-in-a-test-tube’ are being used by customers to identify the effect of individual or compound genetic mutations on drug activity, patient responsiveness, and resistance, which may lead to the successful prediction of which patient sub-groups will respond to currently available and future drug treatments.
In addition, Horizon provides GENASSIST™ CRISPR and rAAV gene editing tools, custom cell line generation services for research and bioproduction applications, quantitative molecular reference standards, in vivo disease models, contract research and custom screening services and custom shRNA development services and off-the-shelf validated shRNA (through Horizon’s partner Sirion).
Horizon is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market under the ticker “HZD”, for further information please visit:www.horizondiscovery.com.
About Horizon’s Bioproduction business
Horizon Bioproduction, part of Horizon Discovery Group plc, is a leading provider of precision engineered off the shelf and custom CHO cell lines. The CHO Source platform delivers a fully engineered and characterized host cell line, ideally suited to the manufacture of recombinant protein therapeutics.
Protein therapeutics represent a significant share of the top 50 drugs globally and are increasingly present in developmental pipelines. The provision and licensing of bioproduction cells for their manufacture, however, can be cost prohibitive especially for smaller organizations, and are often tied to long-term revenue-based licensing terms. Horizon advocates access to state of the art bioproduction cell lines for companies of all sizes, enabling increased efficiency and decreased production costs for any organization with ambitions in the biotherapeutic marketplace, including small to medium biotechs and CMOs.