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GEN News Highlights : Nov 7, 2011

Horizon and Promega Ally on Cancer Models for Development of Targeted Drug Therapies

Horizon's gene editing platform will be combined with Promega's reporter technologies.

Horizon Discovery and Promega inked a partnership focused on developing a new generation of predictive human cancer models to aid in the development of targted drug therapies. The  program will combine Horizon’s homologous recombination-based rAAV genome editing technology, Genesis™, with Promega’s luciferase and HaloTag® reporter platforms to create endogenous gene reporting capabilities.

Additionally, the firms will work together to develop in vivo xenograft models of Horizon's tumorigenic engineered isogenic cell lines with Promega reporter tags. The goal is to recapitulate genetic mutations exactly as they occur in patient tumors.

Horizon has already used its Genesis platform to generate human cell lines carrying over 370 cancer mutations and variations as predictive in vitro models of genetic diseases. By adding in Promega’s reporter tags, the firms aim to generate in vivo xenografts of the tumorigenic isogenic cell lines. The firms say initial studies showed that the tagging technology generates exceptionally clear images of tumor graft response to targeted molecular therapies.

The firm maintains the partnership will generate a resource for investigating the genetic drivers of disease to accelerate the discovery of targeted molecular therapies. “For the first time investigators will be able to directly trace the relationship between protein expression, the interaction of that target protein within its molecular pathway, and how it is encoded by the genome,” comments Paul Morrill, Ph.D., Horizon’s commercial director.