Horizon Discovery today announced it has signed a six figure (€) commercial discovery services contract with the Migrating Cancer Stem Cell’s Framework-6 consortium, headed by Prof. Riccardo Fodde from the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Horizon Discovery commissioned to find drug candidates by European Stem Cell Consortium
The 12 month programme will see Horizon screen a compound library for agents that selectively kill cell-types harboring genes or pathways that are found to be activated in cancer stem cells. The focus will be on the mutant PI3K and β-catenin genotypes as pathways that have been well characterized to have a major influence over cancer cell migration, metastasis, cell-viability and drug resistance – all primary hallmarks of the cancer stem cell compartment.
Screens will be performed on a panel of human cancer cell-lines produced using Horizons proprietary gene engineering technology ‘GENESIS’. This technique allows the creation of human cell-line pairs harboring a specific mutated cancer allele versus a matched isogenic normal genetic background.
Chris Torrance, CEO of Horizon says “our goal is to screen compound libraries of previously approved drugs on novel matched-tumour vs. normal ‘isogenic’ cell-lines, and thus potentially find rapid new ways to selectively treat cancer stem cells”.
Professor Riccardo Fodde says “we tasked Horizon Discovery with this remit because they have a unique pedigree in performing ‘isogenic’ cell-based screens for novel cancer drug candidates”
The research programme began on 9th June 2008.
Horizon Discovery Group plc, a UK headquartered global life science company, is a world leader in gene editing and gene modulation.