Horizon Discovery Group plc announces intention to float


Horizon Discovery Group plc, the revenue generating life science company supplying research tools to organisations engaged in genomics research and the development of personalised medicines, announces its intention to launch an initial public offering of ordinary shares on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. The new share offer raising £25 million will be used to expand the company's portfolio and pipeline, and increase its sales and distribution channels.

Panmure Gordon is acting as Nominated Adviser and Broker to the Company.


  •  A revenue generating business, centred around the proprietary GENESIS™ gene editing and X MAN™ cell line platforms
  • These platforms enable the understanding of the genetic basis of disease, the manipulation of genomes and the creation of genetically-defined human cell lines or “patients in a test tube”
  • This technology is becoming widely used in genomics research and the development of personalised medicines targeted to specific genetic drivers of diseases like cancer
  • Based in Cambridge (UK) Horizon operates through three commercial units: contract research services, cell line and reagent products and leveraged research and development
  • Blue chip customer base including AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Genentech, Jannsen Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research and Takeda, with 353 unique customers in 2013
  • £6.6 million revenues generated in 2013, up > 70% on 2012 (126% CAGR from 2007 to 2013)
  • Leveraged research and development potential future milestones payments currently totalling approximately £120 million plus royalties on tiered product sales 

Darrin Disley, Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Discovery, commented: “Horizon Discovery is at a very exciting stage in its development where investments made into the scale up of its three commercial units will accelerate growth, transforming the Company into a global market-leader in translational genomics research tools.

“The personalised medicine market is growing rapidly and Horizon is poised to capitalise on this through flexible and leveraged deployment of its GENESIS™ gene editing and X MAN™ cell line platforms with customers operating at all stages of the healthcare paradigm.

“An IPO further enhances the profile of Horizon Discovery, facilitating the expansion of our sales and distribution channels, expansion of our product lines and increasing opportunities to engage in leveraged R&D. It also allows us to acquire additional IP and commercial offerings, including sales channels that will enhance our geographic reach.”


The Company’s strategy is to:

  • Increase the market awareness, sales and penetration of existing products and services
  • Increase the scope of the commercial offering via internal product development, around the GENESIS™, X-MAN™ and GENASSIST™ product ranges, in-licensing and M&A
  • Increase its IP portfolio in gene editing and add therapeutic area expertise beyond cancer
  • Increase leverage into the pharmaceutical and diagnostic value-chain
  • Expand its geographic footprint and commercial offering to achieve global market penetration

Summary of the offering and use of proceeds

The offer consists of the sale of both existing shares and an offer of new shares by Horizon Discovery to institutional investors.

The new share offer raising £25 million will be used to:

  • Increase awareness of the Company’s services, products and leveraged R&D programs in their target markets;
  • Expand the sales and distribution channels for the Company’s services, products and leveraged R&D programs;
  • Expand the number of cell line and reagent products available for sale via increased product development and the in-license of new product ranges from third parties;
  • Increase the pipeline of leveraged R&D opportunities delivering downstream milestone and product royalties;
  • Expand the intellectual property portfolio, via licence or selective acquisition; and
  • Acquire additional sales channels that deliver an expanded commercial offering and strategic geographical footprint

Key Strengths

The Directors believe that Horizon Discovery’s core strengths lie in the following areas:

Established and growing customer base
The Company has a broad international customer base including pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic companies as well as leading academic research centres around the world. 2013 revenues were derived from 353 unique customers.

Proprietary genome editing platform
Horizon Discovery’s, proprietary, translational genomics platform, GENESIS™, comprising three gene-editing tools, rAAV (under exclusive license), ZFN (under non-exclusive license) and CRISPR (under non-exclusive license), offers a precise and flexible gene-editing solution.

Differentiated approach
The Company draws on a long heritage of oncology and translational research, a key differentiator to other commercial proprietors. By being experts in the application of its commercial offering, peer-to-peer credibility is achieved and a basis for leverage established. 

Versatile business model
The Company operates a powerful business model where it can leverage both internally-funded and customer-funded cell line development, drug discovery services and cell line and derivative reagent product offerings. Additional leverage is achieved by combining the offering with novel IP, oncology and drug discovery expertise allowing Horizon to accrue downstream milestones and potentially product royalties.

Large and growing target markets
The Company supplies its services and products in multiple markets including the translational genomics research market; the cell based assays market; the molecular diagnostics market, and the bioproduction market. Combined, it is estimated that these markets will total in excess of £29 billion by 2015.

Significant experience of management and Board
The management team has significant experience in: precision genome-editing, genetically-defined cell-line manufacture, oncology and translational medicine combined with extensive experience of operational R&D management and, together with other members of the Board, the growth of high-growth companies in the Healthcare sector.


For further information please contact:

Consilium Strategic Communications
Amber Bielecka / Mary-Jane Elliott / Jessica Hodgson / Matthew Neal
+44 207 920 2352

Panmure Gordon & Co.
As Nominated Adviser and Broker

Corporate Finance
Freddy Crossley / Grishma Patel / Duncan Monteith / Fred Walsh
Tom Salvesen/ Adam Pollock
Tel: +44 20 7886 2500



Horizon Discovery Group plc, a UK headquartered global life science company, is a world leader in gene editing and gene modulation.

Horizon Discovery