Horizon Discovery and AmplyCell inked an R&D collaboration and license deal through which Horizon will evaluate the effects of AmplyCell’s BOOST cell line optimization technology on the expression capabilities of its own parental glutamine synthetase (GS) null Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) K1 cell line. Horizon says if the evaluation is successful, it anticipates applying the BOOST process as standard to future generations of cell lines.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but include an up-front payment to Belgian firm AmplyCell, plus development and commercial milestones. Horizon retains nonexclusive global rights to sublicense BOOSTed CHO K1 cell lines to third parties, and AmplyCell is entitled to tiered royalites on net sales.
Commenting on the firms’ collaboration and license agreement, Terry Pizzie, head of commercial, at U.K.-based Horizon Discovery, said, “We are hopeful that a successful evaluation of AmplyCell’s BOOST technology will lead to incorporation of this methodology for all future bioprocessing cell lines released by Horizon, and look forward to creating a long-term relationship with AmplyCell.”
AmplyCell’s Cell Fitness Technologies, including BOOST, involve a four-stage process that is designed to activate cell line metabolism to improve cell line stability and productivity, which AmplyCell claims can result in up to 10-fold higher yields of monoclonal antibodies or recombinant proteins. The Cell Fitness Technologies can be applied at any stage of cell line development or bioproduction (clone creation, reference cell bank/donor cell bank, master cell bank), without the need to change culture conditions.
In January, Horizon reported an extension to its key CRISPR license with ERS Genomics, which gives Horizon full commercial rights to use CRISPR-edited cell lines for GMP manufacturing of biologics. At the same time, Horizon said it had agreed a collaboration with Solentim to develop an automated manufacturing platform for genome editing of mammalian cells, and had secured £523,000 ($637,000) from Innovate UK to fund the project.