Horizon Discovery (Horizon) today announced it has signed a six figure (€) commercial discovery services contract with the Migrating Cancer Stem Cell’s Framework-6 consortium, headed by Prof. Riccardo Fodde from the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
The 12 month program will see Horizon screen a compound library for agents that selectively kill cell-types harboring genes or pathways that are found to be activated in cancer stem cells. The focus will be on the mutant PI3K and β-catenin genotypes as pathways that have been well characterized to have a major influence over cancer cell migration, metastasis, cell-viability and drug resistance – all primary hallmarks of the cancer stem cell compartment.
Screens will be performed on a panel of human cancer cell-lines produced using Horizons proprietary gene engineering technology ‘GENESIS’. This technique allows the creation of human cell-line pairs harboring a specific mutated cancer allele versus a matched isogenic normal genetic background.
The research program began on June 9th 2008.