Horizon Discovery (Horizon) today announced it has secured world-wide exclusive rights to a key genetic process behind its award-winning GENESIS platform used to create highly patient-relevant disease models, called X-MAN™ cell-lines.
Horizon’s rapidly expanding number (100+) of X-MAN (Mutant And Normal) cell models allow drug discovery researchers to understand how cancer manifests itself in real patients and develop personalised medicines, diagnostics and theranostic tests that will enable future doctors to tailor individual treatment regimes and follow-up care to the specific needs of cancer patient.
Underlying GENESIS, is a novel viral-based gene-engineering technology discovered and patented by the University of Washington, which is absolutely essential to generating X-MAN lines efficiently and reproducibly; and now Horizon have exclusive rights to it.
The use of adeno-associated viruses (AAV) in gene engineering was first considered as a means to perform gene-therapy in humans, but Horizon founders, Chris Torrance and Alberto Bardelli, have now brought this technology more widely into the drug discovery process by using it to create accurate patient models; which will help rationalize all aspects of drug development, and therefore the final cost of new cancer therapies.
Chris Torrance, CEO of Horizon Discovery says “Drug discovery researchers are rapidly realizing the power of our X-MAN models, as evidenced by the number and size of deals we have been able to sign with leading Pharma players in the short space of time since the company’s inception. It was our aim moving forward to ensure we are not deflected from our mission to bring greater benefits to cancer patients who need new and cheaper personalized medicines, by securing our technology base at an early stage. In 2009, we will disseminate our technology (and the products and services based upon it) to all levels of academic, industrial and clinical research and begin the process of co-opting the support of healthcare and political leaders; critical in implementing changes in how personalized treatments are discovered and administered”.