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Horizon Discovery and Hisun Pharmaceuticals Partner on Gene-Engineered Bioproduction Cell Line

18 Jun 2013

Cambridge, UK, 18 June 2013: Horizon Discovery (Horizon) a leading provider of cell line genome engineering products and services, today announced it has entered into an agreement with Hisun Pharmaceuticals (Hisun) to optimize Horizon’s newly engineered CHO bioproduction cell line for commercial use. Hisun will be using Horizon’s glutamine synthetase (GS) double knock-out cell line for use in therapeutic antibody manufacturing. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Horizon has engineered the CHO cell line using its GENESIS™ gene editing technology, providing the most precisely engineered GS double knock-out available. The precision afforded by GENESIS results in an optimal final genotype, with complete control over the desired genomic alterations and with no unwanted off-target effects.

GS is a critical enzyme in the metabolism of the amino acid L‐glutamine which is often used as a selection marker in the production of recombinant proteins. GS-negative CHO cell lines have proven to be a valuable resource for stringent selection of high producing lines and accelerating the development of cell lines within the Bioproduction industry, offering significant advantages over traditional methods that use an expensive and toxic chemical inhibitor of GS.

Haibin Wang, Senior Vice President, Hisun Pharmaceuticals, said: “Hisun’s competitive edge comes from our focus on pioneering technology and quality product. Horizon’s gene engineering technology is unique in the level of precision it can deliver, and therefore offers great advantages in quality and efficiency for industrial cell line engineering. Partnering with forward-looking leaders in their field, such as Horizon, is a key part of our strategy to provide innovative and quality products to our patients.”

“We are delighted to be working with Hisun on the final development stage for this cell line, the first of several Horizon projects aimed at GMP production of therapeutic proteins,” commented Dr Brian Burke, Business Development Manager at Horizon. “Cell line development has yet to match the gains made in media and feed technology development. Precision gene editing will be a key driver for cell line development, and by selective partnering with leaders like Hisun, Horizon intends to accelerate this process.”