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Oct 5, 2010

Horizon Picks Up Hypoxium and Launches Subsidiary

  • Horizon Discovery acquired Hypoxium to form the wholly owned subsidiary Horizon Discovery Services (HDS). The newly formed contract research organization will provide oncology translational research services that include access to Horizon’s 250+ patient-relevant human isogenic cancer cell models. Specific services include drug profiling, 2-D and 3-D phenotypic assays, tumor microenvironment studies, and responsive-patient prediction.

    Based at the Cambridge Science Park since its foundation in 2007, Hypoxium specializes in cell biology within the oncology therapeutic area. The new services provided by HDS include a suite of  X-MAN Pathway assays that combine Horizon’s genetically defined isogenic X-MAN human disease models with Hypoxium expertise in mimicking the tumor microenvironment in an in vitro setting.

    To support internal R&D that will further expand the suite of services provided by HDS, Horizon is investing $500,000 in a two-year research program. The program will add assays to the X-MAN Pathways panel and format these into high-throughput and relevant in vivo assays to be operated by Horizon’s U.S. partner, TGEN Drug Development.

    One of the challenges that cancer researchers face in designing therapeutics is that of predicting how drug molecules will behave in the complex microenvironment that surrounds a tumor. HDS will thus aid in the identification of how specific cancer genes and assay conditions such as hypoxia, growth-factors, and nutrient supplies affect sensitivity to therapeutic compounds.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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