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Horizon Discovery receives the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade

23 Apr 2012

Cambridge, UK, April 21 2012: Horizon Discovery (Horizon), a leading provider of research tools to support translational genomics research and the development of personalized medicines, today announced it has won the Queen’s Award 2012 for Enterprise, in the International Trade category.

The prestigious award is in recognition of Horizon Discovery’s outstanding achievement in export growth, having shown overall growth exceeding 360% over the three year period assessed.

Founded in 2007 and based in Cambridge, UK, Horizon has become one of the fastest growing biotechnology companies in Europe. Expanding over 100% in each year of trading, it now has 70 FTE’s working out of its research facility in Cambridge. This growth has been built upon an international customer base that includes over 100 academic research organizations and 100 biotechnology, diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies, using a direct selling and partnership strategy. Greater than 90% of Horizon Discovery sales are currently made into markets outside of the UK, including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore. Of the European market, Germany, Switzerland and Austria are Horizon’s primary sources of trade.

Underpinning Horizon’s global success is the Company’s proprietary technology, GENESIS, which is the world’s most precise genome editing technology. Using GENESIS, Horizon is able to alter any endogenous gene sequence of a human or mammalian cell line quickly, reliably and without introducing unwanted and confounding genotypes and/or phenotypes. Horizon has harnessed GENESIS to create over 400 X-MAN cell lines, the world’s first source of genetically-defined and patient-relevant human cell lines, accurately modeling the disease-causing mutations found in cancer patients. These ‘patients-in-a-test-tube’ are being used by academic and industry leaders to identify the effect of individual genetic mutations on drug activity, patient responsiveness, and resistance, leading to the successful prediction of which patient sub-groups will respond to currently-available and future drug treatments. This enables the design of shorter, more focused, and less expensive clinical trials, ultimately providing the tools to identify the ‘right drugs’ for the ‘right patients’ based upon the unique genetic mutations that define their disease

GENESIS and X-MAN derived products and services are also finding wide industrial application in bio-pharmaceutical process optimization, clinical diagnostic development, and the provision of reference standards for genomic based clinical research platforms.

“Horizon has worked hard to assemble a team of first class executives, capable of addressing the wide array of commercial opportunities available to the business. Our ability to leverage our technology, product and service base to deliver a combination of large multi-national contracts, strategic alliances, IP assets, spinouts, and direct sales, as well as our successful Centres of Excellence programme, has contributed to our rapid growth over the past years, of which I am very proud,” commented Dr Darrin M Disley, CEO, Horizon. “Over the coming years we expect further growth in the company’s international customer base which will drive another year of 100% growth in 2012 and greater than 50% for many years to come .”

What are the Queen’s Awards?
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are highly prestigious awards for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of Innovation, International Trade and Sustainable Development. They are are made annually by Her Majesty The Queen and are only given for the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category. The Awards are judged to a demanding level and winners receive a number of benefits and worldwide recognition. They are the highest official UK awards for British businesses and have been running on an annual basis since 1965.

What are the criteria for application?
To be eligible for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, a company must be able to demonstrate substantial growth in overseas earnings and commercial success, to levels that are outstanding for the goods or services concerned and for the size of the applicant’s operations.

Businesses may apply under the following criteria:
1. Outstanding achievement in international trade, sustained over not less than three years.
2. Continuous achievement in international trade, sustained over not less than six years.

Applications are audited, and assessed by a judging panel before a shortlist is passed to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee, which then makes recommendations to HM the Queen.

What does it mean to win?
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise celebrate and recognise the activities of companies who have made an outstanding contribution to the British economy.

Why was Horizon chosen?
Horizon was chosen to receive the Queen's Award as it has demonstrated outstanding achievement in export growth, showing 361% overall growth over the last three years. This growth has been built upon a customer base including academic organisations, biotech, diagnostic and pharma companies, through direct selling and partnerships.

GENESIS and X-MAN are registered trademarks of Horizon Discovery Limited