Horizon Discovery has established three new Centers of Excellence (CoEs) for gene editing in Asia. The new centers are at Aichi Cancer Center, Japan, Seoul National University, South Korea, and the National Cancer Centre (NCC), Singapore. Horizon will support the research centers in their application of its gene engineering technology, GENESIS™, to generate human isogenic cell lines harboring specific genes/mutations relating to cancer.
The Aichi Cancer Center is Horizon’s third CoE in Japan, and will focus on elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of viral proliferation and oncogenesis of Epstein Barr Virus, as part of the effort to combat virally initiated cancers. The PI for this program will be Takayuki Murata.
Seoul National University, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, will work with Horizon to create isogenic cell lines to study the regulatory mechanisms of BubR1 spindle assembly checkpoint, in order to increase understanding of the basis of genetic instability of cancer. Associate Professor Hyunsook Lee will be leading the program.
Dr. Daniel SW Tan, PI at the NCC Singapore, department of medical oncology, will use Horizon’s technology to study the effects on cell lines of cancer-causing EGFR mutations.
The new human isogenic cell lines generated by the CoEs will be exclusively licensed to Horizon in return for future product royalties. The company will also have an exclusive option to license new intellectual property developed. This forms part of Horizon’s strategy to generate at least 2,500 new X-MAN™ models of cancer, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular disease.
These centers become part of the larger Horizon Centers of Excellence network, which includes Cambridge University, UCL, Yale University, the National Cancer Institute, Washington University in St. Louis, and the National Cancer Centre in Japan.