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New platform enables researchers to rapidly identify cutting-edge anti-cancer drugs
Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon"), the world leader in the application of gene editing technologies including custom screening and specialized assay services, today announced the launch of a new platform for immuno-oncology research. The platform consists of several high throughput assays that enable researchers to test thousands of potential anti-cancer drugs that recruit the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
Horizon’s new platform enables researchers to study how new drugs are able to activate different types of immune cells as well as increase their ability to kill tumors. The platform includes high throughput ADCC, CDC, primary T cell activation, mixed lymphocyte reaction and T cell-mediated tumor lysis assays in 384 well format, allowing researchers to test hundreds of new drugs simultaneously.
Since cancer cells are very different from normal cells in the body, the immune system attacks them when able to recognize them. However, cancer cells find ways to evade and blunt the immune system, often disguising themselves as normal cells. Immuno-oncology drugs reactivate immune cells, restoring their anti-tumor activities by enabling their ability to recognize cancer cells and destroy them. On this basis, immuno-oncology has rapidly risen as a promising approach to treat cancer, and the market is currently estimated at £25 billion per year and expected to grow to approximately £50 billion per year by 2020(1).
Edward Weinstein, PhD, President Services of Horizon Discovery commented, “Horizon’s new immuno-oncology assays represent a great step forward in this important growth area, building on our greater than 15 years of experience in high-throughput screening with over ten million unique drug combinations screened. The platform allows researchers to test thousands of new immuno-oncology drugs simultaneously, alone or in combination with other drugs. Immuno-oncology is an important focus area for Horizon, and we’re excited that these new assays will accelerate and streamline drug discovery, bringing highly effective new drugs to patients faster than before possible.”
This announcement follows the formation of Avvinity Therapeutics, a Joint Venture between Horizon and Centauri Therapeutics in order to capture the upside potential of Horizon’s IP, platform technologies and capabilities in immuno-oncology in order to develop novel therapeutics. Horizon’s new immuno-oncology research platform will be deployed to support this effort as well as being offered commercially as a set of assay services to clients.
About Horizon Discovery Group plc www.horizondiscovery.com/
Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon"), is a world-leading gene editing company that designs and engineers genetically-modified cells and then applies them in research and clinical applications that advance human health.
Horizon’s core capabilities are built around its proprietary translational genomics platform, a highly precise and flexible suite of gene editing tools (rAAV, ZFN and CRISPR) able to alter almost any gene sequence in human or mammalian cell-lines.
Horizon offers over 23,000 catalog products and related research services, almost all of which are based on the generation and application of cell and animal models that accurately recapitulate the disease-causing genetic anomalies found in diseases like cancer. Horizon’s commercial offering has been adopted by c. 1,400 unique research organizations in over 50 countries as well as in the Company’s own R&D pipeline to support a greater understanding of the genetic drivers of disease and the development of molecular, cell and gene therapies that can be prescribed on a personalized basis.
Horizon is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market under the ticker “HZD”.
For further information from Horizon Discovery Group plc, please contact:
Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)
Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947
Consilium Strategic Communications (Financial Media and Investor Relations)
Amber Bielecka / Jessica Hodgson / Matthew Neal / Laura Thornton
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3709 5701