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GEN News Highlights : Oct 17, 2012

New Cancer Model Cell Lines on the Horizon

Horizon Discovery has established the latest of its Centers of Excellence (CoE) for gene editing in collaboration with Washington University (St. Louis) and the Bright Institute. The partners will work together to generate isogenic (mutant and wild-type) pairs of human cancer cell lines carying disease-specific genes, which can be used as disease models for research and drug discovery. Horizon will exclusively license the cell lines generated by its partners at Washington University and the Bright Institute.

Establishment of the latest CoE is part of Horizon’s plan to generate at least 2500 new X-Man™ (gene X-Mutant and Normal) models relevant to cancer and neurological, cardiovascular, and autoimmune diseases. Horizon has established a network of researchers working with its rAAV-mediated human gene-editing platform, Genesis. The Genesis Gene Editing Consortium, which encompasses the CoEs, already includes scientists at the National Cancer Institute, Cambridge University, Yale University, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“We are pleased to license to Horizon the human cell lines we have developed at Washington University,” states Jason Weber, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the division of oncology and researcher at the Bright Institute. “With these cell lines, we will use Horizon’s Genesis technology to alter specific genes involved in the development and progression of cancer. We can also test whether existing investigational drugs are effective against these models of human cancer, an important early step in the development of personalized medicine.”