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Horizon Secures World-Wide Exclusive License from University of Maryland on new X-MAN Cell lines

25 Mar 2009

Horizon Discovery (Horizon) today announced it has secured world-wide exclusive rights to a panel of new patient-relevant human isogenic disease models developed by University of Maryland, Baltimore using its proprietary GENESIS™ platform.

The in-licensed lines will be added to Horizon’s rapidly expanding number (150+) of X-MAN™ (Mutant And Normal) cell models that allow drug discovery researchers to understand how cancer manifests itself in real patients and helps rationalize many aspects of drug development, and therefore the final cost of new personalized cancer therapies.

Underlying GENESIS, is a novel viral-based (rAAV) gene-engineering technology discovered and patented by the University of Washington and exclusively licensed to Horizon, which is essential to generating X-MAN lines efficiently and reproducibly.

Dr Paul Morrill, Business Development Director of Horizon says “we are delighted to have secured an exclusive world-wide license to the University of Maryland, Baltimore cell-lines as they will feed in seamlessly into our current Discovery 1 product portfolio. The use of GENESIS in the development of patient-predictive disease models by academia is encouraged by Horizon; who offer access and support to its platform technology and cell-lines via its Targeting Cancer Consortium. This open-source approach provides a means to rapidly generate valuable cellular disease models that can have an impact in cancer research. Horizon now provides a route for academic and not-for-profit organisation to generate license income via its sole rights to commercially sell cell-lines engineered using the technique.”

“The University of Maryland, Baltimore is thrilled about the collaboration with Horizon and optimistic that the licensed proprietary tools will lead to the discovery of targeted cancer therapeutics. In addition to our many patented inventions covering a broad spectrum of medical applications, we appreciate the utility that cell lines and other biologicals offer in the selective development of future therapies to diseases as well as advancing scientific understanding of those diseases,” said Elizabeth Hart-Wells, Executive Director of the University’s Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property group within the Office of Research and Development.

The license is initially for seven years and involves Horizon paying the University of Maryland, Baltimore up-front fees and an ongoing royalty on product sales.