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Horizon Discovery and Blueprint Medicines Enter Oncology Research Service Agreement

08 Oct 2013

Horizon will support and guide new targets discovery

Cambridge, UK, 08 October 2013: Horizon Discovery (Horizon), a leading provider of research tools to support the development of personalized medicines, today announced it has signed a research service agreement with Blueprint Medicines Corp. (Blueprint), a patient-driven oncology company developing highly selective kinase inhibitors for genomically defined cancer subsets. Under the terms of the deal Horizon will support Blueprint’s “New Targets” discovery platform by deploying its X-MAN™ isogenic cell lines.

Horizon will use its proprietary platform and expertise to screen a selection of Blueprint’s unique and highly selective kinase inhibitor tool compounds on a panel of 26 X-MAN isogenic cell lines. Performing screens on X-MAN cell lines will provide valuable insights into elucidating synthetic lethal interactions with approximately 100 kinase targets in various cancer subtypes.

Horizon provides definitive and controlled preclinical model systems through the use of isogenic cell lines, where the genetic modification of interest can be directly compared to its matched normal cell. These cell lines have been generated through the GENESIS™ genome editing platform, which now includes ZFN and CRISPR, as well as the company’s proprietary rAAV technology.

The use of panels of these isogenic cell lines allows molecularly-defined cellular models to be systematically profiled, thereby providing a powerful tool for the investigation of sensitivity and resistance to cancer therapeutics. Horizon has recently launched this as a service broadly available to academic and commercial customers.

Blueprint Medicines has developed a proprietary platform that combines genomics expertise with a novel library of kinase inhibitors to enable the rapid development of potent, highly selective compounds to address clear genomic driver targets.

Dr. Christoph Lengauer, Chief Scientific Officer at Blueprint Medicines, commented: “Horizon’s track record in precise genome engineering of patient relevant cell line models and expertise in the field of oncology provide the ideal resource to support Blueprint’s drive to develop genetically tailored, highly selective cancer therapies.”

Dr. Chris Torrance, Chief Scientific Officer at Horizon, said: “We are delighted that Blueprint has selected Horizon as a partner for its cancer targets discovery effort, and look forward to contributing to the search for novel drug targets through use of our drug discovery services."

Financial terms were not disclosed.