Horizon Discovery deploy GENESIS to Engineer new X-MAN regiment for leading cancer pharma


Horizon Discovery today announced it had extended its commercial relationship with Millennium Pharmaceuticals Incorporated to include the development of custom X-MAN cell-lines that comprise a set of double cancer-gene ‘knock-in’ lines designed to evaluate known mechanisms of patient resistance to putative targeted agents.

In order to develop the new lines, Horizon will deploy GENESIS, a proprietary virally-mediated isogenic gene targeting technique to precisely engineer in disease causing and patient-specific genetic mutations (PI3K; K-Ras, B-Raf, p53, PTen, β-Catenin) for example) into normal human cells providing, model in-vitro system for testing a potential cancer drugs effect on diseased vs. normal cells vs. patient genotype”,

Dr Darrin M Disley, Commercial Director of Horizon says “ GENESIS underpins Horizon Discovery’s rapidly-growing portfolio (90+) of X-MAN cell-line pairs and enables the creation of a new lines routinely in 3 to 6months where previously it would have taken up to 24months per cell-line pair using DNA-based homologous recombination techniques and; with no guarantee of success”.

He goes on to say “we are very excited to be expanding the relationship with Millennium so soon and the work program being undertaken will lead to the availability, first by Millennium but later the greater drug discovery research community, of leading-edge tools that will help accelerate and rationalize the discovery of novel ‘personalised’ medicines and their optimal assessment in clinical trials”

Millenium will pay Horizon undisclosed up-front, milestone and renewal fees per-cell-line pair for a work programme that will begin in November 2008.

About Horizon Discovery

Horizon Discovery is a translational genomics company founded in June 2007 and is headquartered at the Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, UK and with additional research laboratories in Torino, Italy. Horizon’s goal is to convert new information on the genetic causes of cancer into laboratory models that will facilitate the discovery of drugs that target these defects. Central to this aim is Horizon Discovery’s offering of isogenic cell-lines, which represent accurate models of defined cancer patient populations and their matched normal genetic backgrounds – a missing link in the rational and efficient development of novel targeted anti-cancer agents.


Contact: Dr Darrin M Disley on +44 (0)1223 303049 or +44 (0)7786 133893


To read more information, click here.

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

Horizon Discovery