Cambridge, UK, 24 November 2015: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE:HZD) (Horizon), the international life science company supplying research tools and services to organizations engaged in genomics research and the development of personalized medicines, and Axol Bioscience Ltd (Axol), a biotechnology company specializing in the use of stem cell technology to manufacture disease relevant cell based assay systems, announce they have formed a strategic partnership for the delivery of off-the-shelf and on-demand genomically modified and differentiated iPS cells.
The relationship brings together Horizon’s precision genome editing capability and Axol’s expertise in iPSC reprogramming and differentiation to provide isogenic cell lines for neuronal and cardiovascular disease research. Both companies will jointly market and sell the products and services derived from the partnership.
Initially, Horizon and Axol will work together to generate matched isogenic pairs of normal and diseased models, encompassing clinically relevant mutations. The originating iPSCs will be derived from a number of patient genetic backgrounds and then selectively modified into neuronal or cardiac cells to examine the effects of the changes. These renewable isogenic cell lines will be the first of their kind in the neuronal space. Custom requests to customer specifications will also be accepted.
“iPSCs are becoming a key component of neuronal and cardiovascular research due to their stability as compared with primary cells and hence the ability to perform genomic modifications on them,” commented Eric Rhodes, Chief Technology Officer, Horizon Discovery. “The partnership with Axol and resulting isogenic cell lines will offer the ability to assess the effects of disease specific mutations apart against a fixed genetic background, for the first time in these disease areas.”
Sanj Kumar, Chief Business Officer, Axol Bioscience, said: “This partnership builds on Axol’s strong position in the use of stem cell technology, and the combination of Horizon’s gene editing expertise with Axol’s experience in working with iPSCs will offer valuable new tools for researchers.”
The partnership has the potential to be extended to a wide range of different disease areas and cell phenotypes. Financial terms are not disclosed.
For further information from Horizon Discovery Group Plc, please contact:
Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)
T: +44 (0) 7787 502947
Horizon Discovery Group Plc
Dr Darrin Disley, CEO / Richard Vellacott, CFO
T: +44 (0) 1223 655580
Consilium Strategic Communications (Financial Media and Investor Relations)
Amber Fennell / Jessica Hodgson / Matthew Neal / Laura Thornton
T: +44 (0) 20 3709 5701
For further information from Axol Bioscience Ltd, please contact:
Yichen Shi, CEO
T: +44 1223 751051
NOTES TO EDITOR
About Horizon Discovery Group Plc.
Horizon is a revenue-generating life science group supplying research tools to organizations engaged in translational genomics research and the development of personalized medicines. Horizon has a diverse and international customer base of over 1,200 organizations across more than 50 countries, including major pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic companies as well as leading academic research centers. The Group 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 over 20,000 catalogue 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 custom cell line and in vivo model generation services for research and bioproduction applications, quantitative molecular reference standards, in vivo disease models, and contract research and custom screening services.
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 Axol Bioscience
Axol was co-founded by Jonathan Milner, PhD and Yichen Shi, PhD whose combined expertise and entrepreneurial spirit was the driving force behind the creation of Axol - where innovation, quality and customer service are key. Axol produces highly validated, human cells and critical reagents such as media and growth supplements. The Axol team is passionate about great science, delivering superb customer service and support and innovating future products to help customers advance their research faster. To find out more, visit www.axolbio.com.