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GEN News Highlights : Mar 16, 2010

Horizon Acquires Human Isogenic Cell Models of DNA Damage Repair from University of Minnesota

Agreement broadens firm’s family of X-MAN cancer lines for drug discovery.

Horizon Discovery negotiated exclusive, worldwide rights to a panel of human isogenic cell models of DNA damage repair. The new cell lines have been developed by Eric A. Hendrickson, Ph.D., at the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center using Horizon’s Genesis platform.

The newly licensed lines will be added to Horizon’s 250+ library of X-MAN™ (mutant and normal) cell models. “The launch of a panel of 50 X-MAN lines relating to DNA repair enzymes and their regulatory proteins will enable our customers to further understand these important pathways in cancer development and help find novel cancer therapeutics that exploit them,” remarks Darrin M. Disley, Horizon’s chairman.

The Genesis platform is an rAAV-mediated homologous recombination technology that Horizon claims is significantly more efficient than previous plasmid-based approaches to performing gene-targeting in somatic human cell types. The firm is exploiting the technology to engineer a panel of cellular models of genetically defined human disease states coupled with their perfectly matched normal genetic backgrounds as a reference.

The rAAV gene-engineering technology underpinning Genesis was originally discovered and patented by the University of Washington and has been exclusively licensed to Horizon.